The Grammy Awards were handed out last night. And while this year, no one swept the awards, rock bands had a lot to smile about. Mumford and Sons won album of the year and the band fun. took home song of the year and best new artist. NPR's Mandalit del Barco was backstage.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: American garage rockers The Black Keys picked up three Grammys, and the band's Dan Auerbach got another one for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical, making the musicians the biggest winners of the night. Electronic musician Skrillex got three Grammys. So did hip-hop artists Kanye West and Jay-Z, including one they shared with Frank Ocean. But Ocean lost out for Best New Artist to the New York group fun..


FUN.: (Singing) Tonight, we are young, so let's set the world on fire, we can burn brighter than the sun...

DEL BARCO: When fun.'s 30-year old lead singer Nate Ruess picked up the Song of the Year award for the band's anthem to youth, he quipped:

NATE RUESS: I don't know what I was thinking, writing the chorus for this song. If this is in HD, everybody can see our faces, and we are not very young.

DEL BARCO: Ruess pointed out that the band's been on the road for 12 years. And backstage, he said the musicians had a lot of fun getting drenched while performing during the show. Then he made the kind of self-deprecating remarks for which the band is known.

RUESS: The truth of it is, seriously we're sad and pathetic and we're going to end up in each other's rooms at the end of the night just being like pinching each other, being like, can you frigging believe what just happened?

DEL BARCO: The Grammy Awards telecast opened with Taylor Swift singing in a scene that could have come from "Alice in Wonderland." Electronic musician Al Walser showed up in an astronaut costume. The CBS network had actually emailed artists a dress code, warning against anything political or too revealing. But presenter Jennifer Lopez still showed up in a black gown with a thigh-high slit.

JENNIFER LOPEZ: As you can see, I read the memo.

DEL BARCO: Co-presenter Pitbull pointed out it was actually toned down from a racy outfit she wore in 2000.

PITBULL: You inspired the memo.


DEL BARCO: Belgian-Australian rocker Wouter De Backer, also known as Gotye, was a little more low-key. Earlier in the day, he pointed out that his Record of the Year collaboration with New Zealand singer Kimbra Lee Johnson had humble beginnings.

GOTYE: I recorded mostly in a barn on my dad's block of land southeast of Melbourne, Australia. So, I've got to thank Dad and my mum. It took about six months, me trying to find the right vocalist to finish this song. So, it was incredible to set up a microphone in Kimbra's bedroom and hear her start to sing some of the words.

KIMBRA LEE JOHNSON: In the bedroom, yup.

GOTYE: I knew right away she was going to turn it into something incredible.


JOHNSON: (Singing) Said that you could let it go and I wouldn't catch you hung on somebody that you used to know.

GOTYE: (Singing) You didn't have to cut me off. Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing...

DEL BARCO: Gotye was just as humble picking up his award on stage during the telecast.

GOTYE: I just have to say there are so many incredible songs in this category, not only in the Grammys more generally, but also so many artists and pieces of music that aren't recognized by the Grammys this year - I just want to say thank you for everybody who puts great energy into the world making music. I feel unworthy to be up here receiving this, but thank you all musicians and people who listen to music. Cheers.

DEL BARCO: Cheers. Mandalit del Barco, NPR News, Los Angeles.


GOTYE: (Singing) Now you're just somebody that I used to know. Somebody I used to know, somebody, now you're just somebody that I used to know. Somebody that I used to know, now you're just somebody that I used to know. Somebody I used to know. Somebody...

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