All the participants had been issued with memos telling them not to bare too much flesh, but stars such as Taylor Swift, Beyonce and Kelly Clarkson made sure the evening had lots of sex appeal.
Swift appeared to mock ex-boyfriend Harry Styles over their break-up as she opened the ceremony with a spectacular Alice In Wonderland-themed performance, wearing a Mad Hatter-style top hat.
The US star put on a fake British accent in an ad-lib section of her hit We Are Never Getting Back Together in a pretend call to a former lover.
Swift seemed to be referring to her split following a fling with One Direction star Styles, which ended last month following a Caribbean break.
"So he calls me up and he's like, 'I still love you,"' she said, briefly adopting a British twang.
Swift went on: "And I'm like, 'I'm sorry. I'm busy opening up the Grammys, and we are never, ever getting back together. Like ever'."
The 23-year-old singer parted from Styles, 19, earlier this year after a holiday to the British Virgin Islands went sour.
Folk-rock band the Mumfords collected what is often seen as the key award of the night, Album Of The Year, for their second release Babel, to their surprise.
Frontman Marcus Mumford, who picked up the award from Adele, said: "We figured we weren't going to win anything because The Black Keys have been sweeping up all day."
Adele continued her run of success, picking up the award for Pop Solo Performance of Set Fire To The Rain (Live), from her album 21.
Paul McCartney won his 15th Grammy when he took home Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for Kisses On The Bottom.
Belgian-Australian Gotye picked up Record Of The Year for Somebody That I Used to Know, which features Kimbra.
Indie-pop act Fun won Best New Artist and Song Of The Year.