So, that was...long.
The 55th Annual Grammy Awards was its usual jam-packed self, with host LL Cool J deftly shepherding the three and a half-hour broadcast from concert mode to ceremony and back again while both fresh (Frank Ocean, Gotye, fun.!) and familiar (Adele, Elton John, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Rihanna again!) folks took to the stage to accept their accolades or rock the house. Or, sometimes, do both.
But even though we didn't really know what to expect in the first place, there were plenty of surprises—and no one seemed more surprised by who won Grammys this year than the people who actually won them. Here's what popped:
1. Mum's the Word: Congrats to British folk rockers Mumford & Sons, who first got introduced by Johnny Depp (surprise!) and then made off with Album of the Year for Babel in the face of mounting opposition from fun., winners for Song of the Year and Best New Artist; the Black Keys, whose El Camino was named Best Rock Album (and whose dominance was noted by Marcus Mumford himself); and Frank Ocean, whose Channel Orange was named the first-ever Best Urban Contemporary Album (a category we're pretty sure was created just to set up a cage match between Ocean and Chris Brown). Babel had lost out to Bonnie Raitt's Slipstream for Best Americana Album, so theirs was a surprising—if still well-deserved—victory when it came down to it.
2. Kiss Kiss: So, this is a thing again. Four years after Chris Brown was arrested for beating her up and two years after Rihanna got a judge to ease up on the restraining order that was preventing him from going near her, the lovebirds were back sitting front-and-center together at the Grammys. Though he was confined to the audience as a spectator (and confined to his seat when Frank Ocean beat him for Best Urban Contemporary Album), Brown gave Rihanna's performance of "Stay" a standing ovation and was on his feet dancing when she joined with Sting, Bruno Mars and Ziggy Marley for a tribute to reggae legend Bob Marley. Let this be a new chapter that has something positive to say about forgiveness and not a stale old track left on repeat, please.
3. That Song We Used to Know: Prince was certainly delighted to honor Gotye for Record of the Year, the hoodie-wearing and cane-toting legend purring, "Oh, I love this song," as he turned a Grammy over to the Belgian-Australian artist and duet partner Kimbra. And while it seems like ages since "Somebody That I Used to Know" was the "Some Nights" or "I Knew You Were Trouble" of our favorite radio station, hearing those spare strings and Gotye's mournful, indignant wail made us remember how awesome that song is.
4. Since She's Been Gone: Kelly Clarkson has won Grammys before, so it was rather adorable to see her act so incredibly shocked to win Best Pop Vocal Album for Stronger, topping fun.'s Some Nights, among others, in the process. "I'm so sorry, I got stuck to Miranda Lambert!" she exclaimed after getting hung up for a sec on her pal's sequined dress and giving Katy Perry a little I'm-not-worthy bow on her way to the stage. "There's a story and a song, for later—after alcohol. I'm just kidding, children. I get nervous speaking in front of people! I didn't know I was going to win! 'Cause I literally, I was so excited to be in a category with fun., I've been covering you all summer. I'm sorry, I love that song. I think it's so awesome. I love Pink. I love everyone—Adele, who I was in a category with. Miguel, I don't know who the hell you are, but we need to sing together. I mean, good God! That was the sexiest damn thing I've ever seen," she said, referring to his earlier performance. "What?! Anyway, thank you so much, friends, family, label, my manager...my fiancé, who is sexy tonight, y'all. I did not think I was gonna win." And, in a lilting high voice, "Thank you!"
5. Jay-Z Is Just Priceless: In case you needed more proof that Jay-Z is the coolest cat out there, he stole the whole show with one unscripted line. First, he let Frank Ocean and The-Dream have the spotlight when the bunch of them won for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "No Church in the Wild," figuring he's been the center of the attention for, like, ever and he may as well let his collaborators have their moment. And then, in reference to The-Dream's baseball hat tucked over a cap with "Parental Advisory" stamped all over it, Jay-Z just leaned into the microphone and said, "I would like to thank the swap meet for his hat." Boom. Done.