Sometimes, the members of U2 can't make it on their own--they need help hauling all those heavy Grammys around.
The veteran Irish rockers were the big winners Wednesday at the 48th Annual Grammy Awards, where they took home five trophies in all, including Album of the Year and Best Rock Album for How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, Song of the Year and Best Rock Performance by a Group for "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own," and Best Rock Song for "City of Blinding Lights."
"If you think this is going to go to our head, it's too late," frontman Bono said upon accepting Song of the Year. The band won in all five categories in which they were nominated, bringing U2's career Grammy triumphs to 22. Last year, the band won three Grammys for "Vertigo," the first single off of How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.
Mariah Carey, who went into the awards with a leading eight nominations, ended her 16-year Grammy losing streak with three wins, including Best R&B album for The Emancipation of Mimi and Best R&B song and Best R&B Vocal Performance for "We Belong Together."
However, she was shut out in all five categories awarded during the televised portion of the ceremony and lost out on her chance to set a Grammy record by becoming the first female artist to win six or more awards in one night.
Joining Carey in the three-Grammy club were John Legend, who won Best New Artist, Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Album, and Nashville's Alison Krauss and Union Station, who won Best Country Album, Best Country Performance by Duo or Group and Best Country Instrumental Performance. Krauss' career Grammy count is now 20.
Another triple winner was the always modest Kanye West, who won Best Rap Solo Performance, Best Rap Song and Best Rap Album for Late Registration. As producer for Legend's album, West accounted for six of the night's award.
"I had no idea, I had no idea," West said, feigning shock as he whipped out a large sheet of paper marked "Thank You List" while taking the stage to accept Best Rap Album.
Far less self-assured was two-time winner Kelly Clarkson, who was clearly overwhelmed by her win for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "Since U Been Gone," and burst into tears onstage, as she held her first Grammy.
"I'm sorry I'm crying again on national television," Clarkson said through her tears. "Thank you so much, you have no idea what this means to me."
By her second win, for Best Pop Vocal Album, Clarkson had the waterworks under control but was still incredulous at her good fortune.THE BIG WINNERS
Alison Krauss & Union Station
"I don't know what is going on, but thank you Jesus and God and everyone else who supported my career," she said, notably stopping short of extending her gratitude to American Idol. Later in the show, she performed her song, "Because of You."
Other double winners included Stevie Wonder (who has now won 24 in all, ranking fifth in Grammy history), the Chemical Brothers, Damien Marley and Les Paul.
The 90-year-old Paul, who has been hospitalized since Friday with fluid in his lungs and a heart condition, told the Associated Press that news of his wins for Best Pop Instrumental and Best Rock Instrumental did wonders for his spirits.
"I feel like a condemned building with a new flag pole on it," he said via phone from the hospital, where he was watching the awards on television.
In something of an upset, Green Day took home Record of the Year for "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," beating out Carey, West, Gwen Stefani and Gorillaz for the honor.
With the bulk of the Grammys handed out prior to the telecast, the focus of the awards ceremony was much heavier on music than on acceptance speeches.
The night's festivities kicked off with an eye-popping dual performance from the 'toon-fronted band Gorillaz, backed by De La Soul and Madonna, who teamed up for "Feel Good, Inc." and "Hung Up."
It was the first of a number of collaborative efforts, including an impromptu duet of "Higher Ground" by Stevie Wonder and Alicia Keys in tribute to the late Coretta Scott King, a rousing rendition of "One" from U2 and Mary J. Blige and a live mashup performance from Jay Z, Linkin Park and Paul McCartney.
The biggest collaboration of the evening came during a tribute to Sly Stone, where artists including John Legend, Joss Stone, Maroon 5, Will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry were briefly joined onstage by the reclusive funk legend, who lent his vocals to a few verses of "I Want to Take You Higher," before abruptly exiting the stage. The appearance marked Stone's first major public outing since he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, and many had not expected him to show up at all.
The night's festivities closed with a somber tribute to victims of Hurricane Katrina, with artists including Bonnie Raitt, Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen and the Edge, as well as Big Easy natives Dr. John, Allen Toussaint and Irma Thomas taking the stage.
Complete list of winners at the 48th Annual Grammy Awards.