Adele triumphed once again at the Grammys with five awards for her latest blockbuster album of ballads, but she used her moment in the sun to heap praise on Beyonce, whom she bested for top honors.
The English balladeer swept up the trio of major prizes at the music industry’s biggest night — Album, Record and Song of the Year — along with two other pop awards. Beyonce walked away with two trophies.
And in a sentimental homage to late rock icon David Bowie, his final album “Blackstar” earned five awards, including four posthumous prizes for the singer.
Adele, who has stood by her winning style of heart-wrenching songs of loss and regret, became the first act ever to sweep the three key categories in two different years.
She won Record of the Year, which recognizes overall song, and Song of the Year, which looks at songwriting, for her ubiquitous hit “Hello” and Album of the Year for “25.”
Adele made a similar sweep in 2012 with her last album “21” — which remains the only album to have outsold “25” in the past decade.
Fighting back tears, Adele took the podium and paid tribute to Beyonce, who had led the night’s nominations with nine for her politically edgy “Lemonade.”
“My idol is Queen Bey and I adore you. You move my soul every day,” Adele said as she looked at Beyonce, who was making her first public appearance since announcing she was pregnant with twins.
She hailed Beyonce’s album as “monumental and so well thought out, and so beautiful and soul-baring,” suggesting it should have won, bringing her rival to tears.
Speaking to reporters after the show, Adele said she had been worried “25” would flop: “I didn’t really find my voice, and I don’t know if I did find it even at the end.”
It was a happy ending to a night that included a major embarrassment as Adele — using an expletive that was cut from the television broadcast — insisted on restarting “Fastlove,” her tribute to late pop icon George Michael.
It was the second straight year of hiccups for Adele after a microphone fell on the piano during her Grammy performance a year ago.