LOS ANGELES (AP) — Thought Beyonce 's surprise album was shocking? Beck's win for album of the year was even more astonishing.
The singer, who also won best rock album, beat out Beyonce , Sam Smith , Pharrell and Ed Sheeran for the top award.
Kanye West , who famously interrupted Taylor Swift when she beat Beyonce at the MTV Video Music Awards, almost walked onstage when Prince announced Beck's name.
Some in the audience seemed shocked, from Pharrell to Questlove.
Though Beck won album of the year, Beyonce , Pharrell and Rosanne Cash were the top winners with three Grammys each. The Recording Academy will end the night after it announces song and record of the year.
Prince, who earned a standing ovation when he walked on stage, made a statement before he introduced the award.
"Albums — you remember those? They still matter. Like books and black lives, they still matter."
Earlier, Pharrell won best pop solo performance for a live version of "Happy," released in 2013. He also won best music video for the song as well as best urban contemporary album for "G I R L," beating Beyonce .
"I am going to moonwalk my way off the stage right now," said Pharrell, wearing a blazer and shorts.
Pharrell's performance of "Happy" was dramatic with background dancers in black, musicians in yellow and a choir in white.
When the chorus was supposed to come in, Lang Lang played the piano skillfully. Hans Zimmer also played the guitar.
"Thank you, God," Pharrell, in a bell-boy hat, said at the end of the performance. "I am at your service lord."
Rihanna gave an impressive vocal performance of "FourFiveSeconds" with Paul McCartney to her right and Kanye West to her left. Her hair was slicked back and she rocked a black suit like her co-stars
Katy Perry , in all white, sang the ballad "By the Grace of God" after a woman who had been abused talked about getting help and moving on with her life. A video of President Barack Obama appeared before she spoke, and he encouraged artists to help out.
"It's on us, all of us, to create a culture where violence isn't tolerated," he said.
Madonna, dressed as a matador, performed "Living for Love" on top of platform surrounded by a plethora of background dancers wearing bull masks. A choir did most of the singing, while Madonna danced and the audience at the Staples Center clapped in unison. She ascended into the air as the performance finished.
"Let's give it up for our bitch Madonna," Cyrus said as she introduced Madonna. "She made me call her that."
West performed on a nearly pitch-black stage, with a light glowing from under his feet (he also sported the new sneakers he designed). He sang the new song about his late mother, "Only One."
Annie Lennox was a powerhouse when she sang "I Put A Spell On You" and joined Hozier for "Take Me to Church," nominated for song off the year.
Smith, who won best new artist and pop vocal album for "In the Lonely Hour," is set to perform with Mary J. Blige . He said he only found success in music once he found his own voice.
"I just wanna say that before I made this record, I was doing everything to try to get my music heard ... I tried to lose weight and I was making awful music. It was when I started to be myself that the music flowed," he told the crowd.
Taylor Swift presented best new artist to her friend, who is nominated for album, song and record of the year.
"As a former loser of best new artist ... it's gonna be fine. Just shake it off," Swift said before announcing the winner.
Beyonce won best R&B song and R&B performance for "Drunk In Love" and surround sound album for " Beyonce ."
"This has been such an incredible year," she said, thanking her "beloved husband" and "my daughter who is watching."
In one of 23 performances set for the awards show, AC/DC kicked off the show with a performance of their latest single, "Rock or Bust," and then transitioned into the classic "Highway to Hell." It earned a rousing applause from Pharrell, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry , who wore devil horns.
Ariana Grande gave a stripped, piano-led performance of "Just a Little Bit of Your Heart," a song co-written by One Direction's Harry Styles , while Miranda Lambert brought a rock-heavy vibe when she sang "Little Red Wagon." She won best country album for "Platinum."
"I put my heart and soul in this record," she said. "Thank you so much for this amazing night. I love yall!"
As the Grammys pre-show ended, Cash led with three Grammys, while Eminem, Kendrick Lamar , Chick Corea and the "Frozen" soundtrack earned two awards apiece.
"Reagan was president last time I won a Grammy," said Cash, who won best American roots performance, American roots song and Americana album Sunday. "I just showed up for work for 35 years and this is what happened."
Lamar, who lost in seven categories last year, marked a redemption by winning best rap performance and rap song for "i." Eminem won best rap album, beating Common and Iggy Azalea. He also won best rap/sung collaboration for "The Monster" with Rihanna .
The late Joan Rivers won best spoken word album for "Diary of a Mad Diva," and her daughter, Melissa Rivers , was on hand to accept the award.
"If my mother was here tonight, she would not only be honored and thrilled to be holding her first Grammy, she would most likely have it copied and on the air on QVC by 11," Melissa Rivers said to laughter.
Smith's "Stay With Me," Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off," Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" and Sia's "Chandelier" are nominated for both record and song of the year. Iggy Azalea's "Fancy" is nominated for record of the year.
AP writers Derrik Lang , Sandy Cohen and Nicole Evatt contributed to this report.