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Associated Press, Published February 01 2010

Beyonce claims 5 Grammys

LOS ANGELES – Beyonce once again tied a record for most wins by a female performer at the Grammys by netting five trophies, including song of the year for “Single Ladies,” but the Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” trumped her “Halo” to win record of the year Sunday night.

The southern rock group’s inspirational, romantic ode also beat out Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me,” Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” and the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” for the honor of the year’s top record.

The quartet of three brothers and a cousin admitted they were already celebrating when they accepted their trophy, the 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.

Fargo native and former blues prodigy Jonny Lang was denied a Grammy trophy Sunday in the best gospel performance category.

Lang, who was nominated for his song “I Believe,” lost to a track by Donnie McClurkin called “Wait on The Lord.”

Beyonce, who in 2004 won five Grammys on the strength of her debut album “Dangerously in Love,” tying the mark held by the likes of Alicia Keys, Norah Jones and Lauryn Hill, reached that milestone again Sunday.

She won the songwriting trophy along with three writers for her omnipresent anthem “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It).” The superstar also won best R&B contemporary album for “I Am ... Sasha Fierce” among her other awards, but was topped by Taylor Swift for album of the year.

Beyonce wasn’t on hand to accept her early trophies: She was preparing for her dramatic onstage rendition of “If I Were A Boy,” one of several hits from her top-selling third CD.

Lady Gaga delivered the early show-stopper with an eye-popping performance with Elton John.

Lady Gaga, who won two Grammys during the pre-telecast ceremony, kicked off the night with a sequined green leotard with massive shoulders as she sang her Grammy-nominated hit “Poker Face” amid an elaborate stage that included dramatic choreography and pyrotechnics.

Moments later, she scaled things down a bit – as much as Lady Gaga can – and brought out Elton John as they melded her song “Speechless” and his classic “Your Song” together in a performance that featured dueling pianos, and glitter-painted faces.

Taylor Swift, who was second to Beyonce in Grammy nominations with eight nods, won three early awards, including best country album. Though the 20-year-old has won just about every award imaginable over the past year for her best-selling CD “Fearless,” she was wide-eyed when she accepted her trophy for country album.

“I just keep thinking back to when you’re in second grade and you sing in the talent show for the first time and people joke around and say, ‘Maybe we’ll see you at the Grammys someday.’ But that just seems like an impossible dream,” she said. “I just feel like I’m standing here accepting an impossible dream.”

The Grammy for best new artist went to the Zac Brown Band, while best rock album went to Green Day for “21st Century Breakdown.”

The Black Eyed Peas also had three trophies from the pre-telecast, and other double winners were Jay-Z, Eminem, and Maxwell.

Maxwell, up for six awards, also won his first Grammys – best R&B male vocal for the ballad “Pretty Wings” and best R&B album for “BLACKsummers’ night.” The album marked the R&B crooner’s return after an absence of eight years from the music business.

While Beyonce has won a caseload of Grammys during her career, she hasn’t won album of the year, but that had the potential to change Sunday. The superstar was nominated for album of the year for “I Am ... Sasha Fierce,” along Swift’s “Fearless,” the most popular album of any genre last year.

Rounding out the album of the year category were the Black Eyed Peas’ “The E.N.D.,” Lady Gaga’s “The Fame” and the Dave Matthews Band’s “Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King.” The latter album was the band’s first release since the death of founding member and saxophonist LeRoi Moore.

Many participants in the program wore red cross buttons in support of Haiti earthquake relief.

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.