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Mumford & Sons. Picture: Reuters

Mumford & Sons' Babel has won the Grammy for album of the year.

The British rockers said they didn't expect to win "since the Black Keys have been sweeping all day".

It was the foursome's second win on Sunday night (Monday morning Perth time) after taking out the prize for best long form music video.

Babel is a platinum-selling success that is still rocking on the charts.

The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach is the night's top winner with four awards.

Australia's Gotye joined Skrillex, the Black Keys, Jay-Z and Kanye West with three Grammys each.

Ocean, Chick Corea, Esperanza Spalding and Matt Redman were double winners.

You can cross one major trophy off the list for Fun. at the Grammy Awards.

The pop-rockers won song of the year for their transcendent anthem We Are Young, featuring Janelle Monae, during Sunday night's telecast, taking the first of four major awards for which the group had been nominated.

"I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote the chorus to this song," lead singer Nate Ruess joked.

"This is in HD, everyone can see our faces, and we are not very young."

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We Are Young helped Fun. earn a starring role at these Grammys with nominations in all four major categories after the release of their first album, matched only by Christopher Cross in 1981, and six overall.

The band turned in a powerful early performance of Carry On early in the show as a downpour on stage began mid-song and guitarist Jack Antonoff got a kiss from girlfriend Lena Dunham of Girls fame after winning.

Fun. may have picked up a major win, but it was The Black Keys and Skrillex who had the early lead thanks to strong runs in the pre-telecast awards show.

The Black Keys singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach took the early lead during the pre-telecast show, picking up three trophies and assisting with a fourth.

Auerbach won Producer of the Year Alone and Best Rock Song for Lonely Boy and rock album for El Camino with his bandmate Patrick Carney, joining electronic dance music innovator Skrillex atop the early leaderboard. He was also producer for another winner, Dr John.

West and Jay-Z won best rap song and best rap performance for the song N****s in Paris from their Watch the Throne collaboration and lost a third for short form video for No Church in The Wild, which featured Ocean.

Other early winners included Rihanna, Beyonce and Taylor Swift, who opened the show as the Mad Hatter.

Swift dressed in white top hat, tails, shorts and tall boots during the surreal version of her hummable hit We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together that included a troop of mime clowns and a guy on a tricycle with a flame-thrower attached.

The singer pretended to talk to the offending boyfriend on the phone: "I'm busy opening the Grammys and we're never getting back together."

Justin Timberlake debuted new tracks Suit & Tie with Jay-Z and Pusher Love in a performance that was broadcast in retro black and white. Elton John and Ed Sheeran teamed on The A Team and Miguel and Wiz Kalifa teamed up on Adorn.

Adele won the first award of the night on the main telecast, taking home best pop solo performance for Set Fire to the Rain (Live), in one of the night's least-surprising moments - though the singer was somewhat taken aback.

"I just wanted to be part of the night, because I loved it last year, obviously," she said of winning a record-tying six awards in 2012.

Carrie Underwood won best country solo performance for Blown Away.

The Grammy pre-telecast awards show at the Nokia Theatre had 70 trophies up for grabs, including rock, pop, rap and country categories.

Skrillex won best dance recording for Bangarang, featuring Sirah, best dance/electronica album for Bangarang and best remixed recording a year after winning those same awards in his first appearance at the Grammys.

Gotye won Best Alternative Album for Making Mirrors and Best Pop/Duo Performance for Somebody That I Used To Know, featuring Kimbra.

WINNERS IN SELECTED MAJOR CATEGORIES AT THE 55th ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS:

Record Of The Year
Somebody That I Used To Know
Gotye featuring Kimbra

Album Of The Year
Babel
Mumford & Sons

Song Of The Year
We Are Young
Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dost & Nate Ruess, songwriters (Fun. Featuring Janelle Monae)

Best New Artist
Fun.

Best Pop Solo Performance
WinnerSet Fire To The Rain
Adele

Pop/duo group performance
Somebody That I Used to Know, Gotye featuring Kimbra.

Traditional pop vocal album
isses on the Bottom, Paul McCartney.

Rap performance
N****s in Paris, Jay-Z, Kanye West.

Rap song
N****s in Paris, Shawn Carter, Mike Dean, Chauncey Hollis, Kanye West.

Rap album
Take Care, Drake.

R&B performance
Climax, Usher.

Traditional R&B performance
Love on Top, Beyonce.

R&B song
Adorn, Miguel Pimentel.

R&B album
Black Radio, Robert Glasper Experiment.

Rock song
Lonely Boy, The Black Keys.

Rock album
El Camino, The Black Keys.

Hard rock/metal performance
Love Bites (So Do I), Halestorm.

Alternative music album
"Making Mirrors", Gotye.

Dance recording
Bangarang, Skrillex featuring Sirah.

Dance/electronica album
Bangarang, Skrillex.

Best Pop Vocal Album
Stronger
Kelly Clarkson

Best Rock Performance
Lonely Boy
The Black Keys

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Channel Orange
Frank Ocean

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
No Church In The Wild
Jay-Z & Kanye West Featuring Frank Ocean & The-Dream

Best Country Solo Performance
Blown Away
Carrie Underwood

Best Country Album
Uncaged
Zac Brown Band

Latin pop album
MTV Unplugged Deluxe Edition, Juanes.

Latin rock, urban or alternative album
Imaginares, Quetzal.

Latin jazz album
Ritmo!, The Clare Fisher Latin Jazz Big Band.

Tropical Latin album
Retro, Marlow Rosado Y La Riquena.

Country duo/group performance
Pontoon, Little Big Town.

Country song
Blown Away, Josh Kear, Chris Tompkins.

Gospel song
Go Get It, Mary Mary.

Gospel album
Gravity, Leerae.

Blues album
Locked Down, Dr John.

Folk album
The Goat Rodeo Sessions, Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile.

Americana album
Slipstream, Bonnie Raitt.

Bluegrass album
"Nobody Knows You," Steep Canyon Rangers.

Reggae album
"Rebirth," Jimmy Cliff.

World music album
The Living Room Sessions Part 1, Ravi Shankar.

Children's album
Can You Canoe?, The Okee Dokee Brothers.

Spoken word album
Society's Child: My Autobiography, Janis Ian.

Comedy album
Blow Your Pants Off, Jimmy Fallon.

New age album
Echoes of Love, Omar Akram.

Jazz vocal album
Radio Music Society, Esperanza Spalding.

Jazz instrumental album
Unity Band, Pat Metheny Unity Band.

Large jazz ensemble album
Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You), Arturo Sandoval.

Pop instrumental album
Impressions, Chris Botti.

Compilation soundtrack album
Midnight in Paris, various artists.

Score soundtrack album
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross.

Song written for visual media
Safe & Sound (from The Hunger Games), Taylor Swift, John Paul White, Joy Williams.

Musical theater album
Once: A New Musical, Steve Kazee, Cristin Milioti.

Producer of the year, classical
Blanton Alspaugh.

Producer of the year, non-classical
Dan Auerbach.

Instrumental composition
Mozart Goes Dancing, Chick Corea.

Orchestral performance
Adams: Harmonielehre & Short Ride in a Fast Machine, Michael Tilson Thomas (San Francisco Symphony).

Opera recording
Wagner, Der Ring des Nibelungen, James Levine and Fabio Luisi.

Choral performance
Life & Breath: Choral Works by Rene Clausen, Charles Bruffy.

Short-form music video
We Found Love, Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris.

Long-form music video
Big Easy Express, Mumford & Sons.

Historical album
The Smile Sessions (Deluxe Box Set), Alan Boyd, Mark Linett, Brian Wilson, Dennis Wolfe.