IMELDA MAY performed live to a TV audience of 25.8 million Americans at the 52nd annual Grammy awards.
The organisers of the awards asked her to sing alongside British guitarist Jeff Beck in a tribute to the late guitar virtuoso Les Paul. They performed How High the Moon.
She had to cancel a show on her current tour but her team said “obviously this is a huge opportunity for Imelda which she’d be mad to turn down”.
Meanwhile, Beyonce became the most decorated female on a Grammy night as she collected six trophies, including song of the year for her anthem Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It), but it was another diva – Taylor Swift – who nabbed the top honour, album of the year, for her best-selling Fearless.
Second to Beyonce in Grammy nominations with eight nods, she won four awards.
Swift wore a Kaufmanfranco sequin-covered, off-the-shoulder gown in midnight blue.
Beyonce, who in 2004 won five Grammys on the strength of her debut album Dangerously in Love, a mark tied by the likes of Alicia Keys, Norah Jones and Lauryn Hill, Amy Winehouse and Alison Krauss, reached that milestone again on Sunday en route to the new record. She is the first to reach that mark twice.
She wore a wore a strong-shoulder, mermaid-hem gown in gray that had just the right amount of decollete.
She shared the song of the year trophy with three writers for Single Ladies and also won best R&B contemporary album for I Am... Sasha Fierce.
“This has been such an amazing night for me and I’d love to thank the Grammys,” Beyonce said after winning best female pop vocal for Halo.
The Kings of Leon happily picked up their record of the year trophy, the family quartet’s third of the night.
“I’m not going to lie, we’re all a little drunk. But we’re happy drunks,” said lead singer Caleb Followill.
The Black Eyed Peas also had three trophies, as well as Jay-Z, who won for best rap solo performance and two awards for Run This Town with Rihanna and Kanye West.
Rihanna’s high-neck white gown with cascading ruffles and emphasised hips by Elie Saab was sort of a modern take on old-world Victoriana.
The show also included a special 3-D tribute to Michael Jackson featuring a video clip he made of Earth Song as Usher, Carrie Underwood, Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson and Smokey Robinson sang along.
Jackson’s young children, Prince and Paris, accepted a lifetime achievement award for their late father.
“Through all his songs his message was simple, love. We will continue to spread his message and help the world,” Prince said.
Lady Gaga didn’t disappoint in the fashion stakes with a shiny, silvery, three-dimensional number that was created in collaboration with Giorgio Armani. She opened the show in a green fairy-wing bodysuit – with matching green sparkle booties, of course.
“I am honoured to be wearing Armani this evening. The series of pieces Mr Armani created for me are truly iconic; they represent not only beautiful fashion, but my spirit and essence as an artist,” she said.
She sang her Grammy-nominated hit Poker Face, then brought out Elton John as they melded her song Speechless and his classic Your Song together in a performance that featured duelling pianos, and glitter-painted faces.
Fergie wore an electric blue Emilio Pucci strapless dress with a swath of silver snaking from her shoulder to the high hemline. Heidi Klum also had a futuristic twist to her nude-and-rose Pucci micromini with splashes of silver, and Jennifer Hudson captured that spirit with the geometric, clear plastic bracelets she wore with her short, banded black dress by Victoria Beckham that had an open neck, nipped waist and peplum.
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