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Katy Perry. Picture: AP

A warning not to show too much skin didn't seem to deter the stars out Sunday for the Grammy Awards.

Jennifer Lopez was among those showing off thigh-high - or higher - openings in their dresses, and she joked about it as she took the stage to present an award.

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US TV network CBS had put out a memo earlier in the week asking that "buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered" for the televised award show. The memo sent out Wednesday also warned against "see-through clothing," exposure of "the genital region" and said that "thong type costumes are problematic."

Miranda Lambert revealed some leg and laughed about the memo.

"I thought it was funny," she said. "Country music has never really been a problem with that."

Nicole Kidman, on the arm of singer-husband Keith Urban, wore a sleeveless gold lace Vera Wang gown.

While American Idol Carrie Underwood opted for a strapless black Roberto Cavalli with a sheer skirt.

Katy Perry clearly did not get the memo, strutting her stuff in a skin-tight cleavage-baring mint green dress, saying she was inspired by the retro glam of Priscilla Presley's look in the 1970s.

Adele, the big winner at last year's Grammys with six trophies, left her usual basic black at home but followed the rules, opting for a bold red floral Valentino dress with long sleeves and a conservative knee-length hem.

Singer-songwriter Skylar Grey let out an "oops!" when asked about the guidelines.

"I had to show the side boob," she said. "What are they gonna do, kick me off?"

Rihanna opted for a body-skimming sheer red dress by Azzedine Alaia, with bright red lips to match.

Pop princess Taylor Swift glittered in a winter white goddess gown from J. Mendel, complete with silver accents at the neck and bustline and a daring slit in the front.

Comedian Kathy Griffin joked about the fashion warning.

"I'm here to watch all the pomp and circumstance," she said. "You want to see a lack of underwear. I'm open to all the forbidden parts."

Despite a memo to the music stars about wearing revealing outfits there was still plenty of cleavage-bearing and thigh-high dresses on the red carpet.