Although the unexpected death of Whitney Houston threatened to cast a sad shadow over the festivities, the 54th annual Grammy Awards telecast was among the most-watched broadcasts on record. Helped along by a slate of impressive performances including The Foo Fighters with Deadmau5, Nicki Minaj, Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen, the quick pace put to rest the memory of  the stuffy, overlong Grammy ceremonies of years past.

To the surprise of almost no one, the big winner Sunday night was English songstress Adele, who won all 6 of the awards she was nominated for, including the coveted "Album of The Year" award. During the festivities, Adele put to rest questions about her recovery from a vocal cord injury with a stunning performance of the chart-topping "Rolling in The Deep."

Jennifer Hudson led a sparse, heartfelt tribute to Whitney Houston, performing "I Will Always Love You" accompanied only by a piano. It was a rare sad moment in the show, which mostly focused on quick, upbeat tributes to the fallen diva.

"A lot of people stayed up real late trying to figure something out, and I hope that Whitney Houston's family and friends, first of all, and the rest of the people watching appreciate what we do," said Grammy host LL Cool J.

"We can let music heal us, and we can celebrate Whitney through music. This is the one night of the year that's all about just music, of all genres. And everybody here has been affected by Whitney," said Miranda Lambert.