On a night filled with emotion, memorable performances and legal drama, Lil Wayne emerged as a multiple winner Sunday (Feb. 8) during the 51st annual Grammy Awards.
The rapper, who received eight nominations, was honored with three Grammys for best rap album, best rap song (Lollipop featuring Static Major) and best rap solo performance (A Milli).
To celebrate his best rap album win, Lil Wayne brought his family onstage and expressed his gratitude toward those responsible for his good fortune.
I just wanna say thank God, thank New Orleans, thank these people you see right here and thank you, said the rapper, who beat fellow nominees Jay-Z, Lupe Fiasco and T.I. to receive the award for his latest album Tha Carter III.
Despite Lil Waynes dominance in the rap categories, the Cash Money Records rapper was bested for album of the year by former Led Zeppelin member Robert Plant and bluegrass singer Alison Krauss.
The pair won five Grammys for work on their collaborative album Raising Sand.
Performers at the annual event proved to be memorable with a very pregnant M.I.A. performing her Paper Planes before T.I., Lil Wayne, Kanye West and Jay-Z donned tuxedos to join her for the Grand Hustle lyricists Swagga Like Us.
The Grammy nominated tune earned Lil Wayne a fourth Grammy for best rap performance by a duo or group.
The rapper later returned to the stage to bring the spirit of his hometown with Tie My Hands.
Were doing this for New Orleans, yall, said the Lil Wayne, whose performance included Robin Thicke, Allen Toussaint, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Terrence Blanchard and video images of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Lil Wayne was not the only rapper on hand for another Grammy performance. Prior to Swagga Like Us, Jay-Z took the stage with Coldplay for Lost.
T.I. followed suit later in the show with backing from an orchestra and Justin Timberlake for Dead and Gone.
Coming off her rousing rendition of the National Anthem at last weeks Super Bowl, Jennifer Hudson garnered a standing ovation as she performed You Pulled Me with a choir.
The Oscar winner, who was touched by the outpouring of love from the crowd, took home the Grammy for best R&B album for her self-titled debut.
“I first would like to thank God who has brought me through, Hudson said. I’d like to thank my family in heaven and those who are with me today. Everybody, thank you all.”
Past and present artists united as Smokey Robinson, Ne-Yo and Jamie Foxx brought back memories of the Four Tops by aligning with the groups lone surviving member Abdul Duke Fakir, for a tribute to the legendary Motown group, who received the lifetime achievement Grammy.
In addition, the Jonas Brothers received assistance from Stevie Wonder, who provided additional vocals for the trios hit Burnin’ Up before concluding the set with his classic Superstition.
Other artists who took home Grammys included: Mary J. Blige (best contemporary R&B album for Growing Pains), Ne-Yo (best R&B song and best male R&B vocal performance for Miss Independent), Chrissette Michele (best urban/alternative performance for Be OK featuring will.i.am), Al Green featuring Anthony Hamilton (best traditional R&B vocal performance for “You’ve Got The Love I Need”), Al Green featuring John Legend (best R&B performance by a duo or group with vocals for “Stay With Me (by the Sea)”), Alicia Keys (best female R&B vocal performance for ” Superwoman”).