Beyoncé and Taylor Swift waged a fierce and fearless battle for supremacy at the 52nd Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, and both emerged victorious.
The R&B diva won the most trophies ever by a female artist in one night but lost album of the year to the 20-year-old country queen.
Beyoncé entered the evening with 10 nominations and won six times, including song of the year for Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It), contemporary R&B album for I Am ... Sasha Fierce and pop vocalist for Halo. Only Michael Jackson and Carlos Santana, tied with eight, have won more on one night.
Among female Grammy winners, Beyoncé's 16 career Grammys rank third, behind Alison Krauss (26) and Aretha Franklin (18).
Swift — second with eight nominations — won four times, with double wins for Fearless (album and country album) and White Horse (country song, country vocal performance).
Rockers Kings of Leon bested both women when Use Somebody won record of the year, as well as rock performance and rock song.
It was a banner night for first-time winners: In addition to Swift, pop sensation Lady Gaga, who was nominated five times and opened the show with Elton John, won two times, and neo-soulster Maxwell, up for six, won twice, for R&B album (BLACKsummers'night) and R&B male vocal (Pretty Wings).
Country upstarts Zac Brown Band won best new artist, and TV host Stephen Colbert won for comedy album. Top rap album went to Eminem (Relapse), and Green Day won rock album (21st Century Breakdown).
Jason Mraz won for male pop vocalist, and Jay-Z, Kanye West and Rihanna won for rap-sung collaboration with Run This Town.
The Recording Academy finally voted an award to heavy-metal rockers AC/DC, who had received seven nominations since 1989 but had never won. That streak ended as War Machine (from the band's Black Ice album) won hard-rock performance. Another previously winless vet, Neil Young, was rewarded for his box set Archives.
USA Today has contributed to the report.