The night kicked off with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band's first live TV performance of their new single, "We Take Care of Our Own." That was followed by a prayer for the late Whitney Houston.
And after the moving Houston tribute led by host LL Cool J, the ceremony featured wall-to-wall performances. In between all of that, a few of the actual awards were handed out. Many of the awards were presented in a non-televised ceremony earlier in the evening.
Newly-divorced pop star Katy Perry performed her new song "Part of Me" and sang the lyric: "So you can keep the diamond ring." Perhaps a reference to her split from Russell Brand?
Grammy winner Adele made a powerful return to the stage with her first performance since undergoing vocal cord surgery last fall.
Jennifer Hudson did a powerful rendition of "I Will Always Love You" as a tribute to Houston.
Chris Brown graced the stage not once, but twice - his first time invited back to the Grammys since his 2009 assault on then-girlfriend Rihanna. Rihanna also performed at the ceremony - with the group Coldplay.
Although it's the heart of winter, it almost felt like summer when the Beach Boys reunited for the first time in two decades to perform "Good Vibrations."
Dance/electronica had a place at the awards for the very first time with a performance by deadmau5 and David Guetta.
And the evening ended with a surprise second performance by Paul McCartney, who wrapped the show with "Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End" from the Beatles' 1969 "Abbey Road" album. Springsteen and David Grohl of Foo Fighters joined him for the closing number.
In the words of McCartney and the Beatles: "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."
Tell us: What were your favorite performances? Sound off in the comments section below.