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Beyonce, Kings of Leon win key Grammys

LOS ANGELES--R&B star Beyonce picked up five Grammy awards on Sunday, including the important song of the year award, overshadowing three-time winner Taylor Swift.

  But they were both outclassed in the record the year race by southern rock band Kings of Leon, which also ended up with three awards.

  The Tennessee quartet, long more popular internationally, finally achieved mainstream success in the United States last year with the song "Use Somebody," which crossed over to pop audiences. In a surprise victory, they become the first Nashville rock band to win record of the year.

  Brothers Caleb, Nathan and Jared Followill and their cousin Matthew Followill also won a pair of Grammys in the rock field for the song, taking their career haul to four.

  Country combo the Zac Brown Band was named best new artist as expected. The Atlanta-based group becomes the first band to win the award since 2005 and beat Keri Hilson, MGMT, Silversun Pickups and the Ting Tings for the prize.

  The popular concert draw released its debut album in 2004, but did not achieve national prominence until 2008 when it released its major-label debut "The Foundation," which peaked at No. 17 on the U.S. pop chart.

  Punk rock trio Green Day won the Grammy for rock album Grammy for "21st Century Breakdown".

  "Now I'm gonna have shots with Kings of Leon," said frontman Billie Joe Armstrong.

  Beyonce, 28, who leads the field with 10 nominations, won song of the year with her anthemic hit "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)", beating tunes by Lady Gaga, Maxwell, Kings of Leon and eight-time nominee Swift.

  She shared the prize with her fellow songwriters, Thaddis Harrell, Terius Nash and Christopher Stewart. But she did not get on stage at the Staples Center to accept it, evidently preparing for an imminent performance that included a self-censored version of Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know".

  "Single Ladies" also yielded Grammys for R&B song and female vocal performance, and Beyonce was additionally honored for contemporary R&B album with "I Am ... Sasha Fierce", and traditional R&B vocal performance for her cover of "At Last".

  Beyonce was also nominated in the film category for her work on the soundtrack to the movie "Cadillac Records" but lost that race. Her career total stands at 15. At press time, she remained in contention for three awards--including album of the year.

  Eight-time nominee Swift won three Grammys, including best country album for her smash second release "Fearless". She remained in contention for two prizes, including album of the year, but she clearly fell short of predictions of Grammy domination.

  Swift, 20, said the country album victory reminded her of participating in a second-grade talent contest and being jokingly told that she would be at the Grammys one day. "I just feel like I'm standing here accepting an impossible dream right now," she said.

  She also took home statuettes for female country vocal and country song, both for the song "White Horse". She shared the latter award with co-writer Liz Rose.

  In addition to losing song and record of the year, Swift was also eclipsed in another race, pop collaboration with vocals, which went to two-time winner Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat. Swift and Caillat were cited in that category for "Breathe".

  Swift was among the performers at the event, teaming with Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks for a version of the band's "Rhiannon".

  Flamboyant dance-pop singer Lady Gaga also got to share some stage time with an idol, in this case Elton John. They faced each other across grand pianos to sing her tune "Speechless" and his breakthrough hit "Your Song".

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