Bruno Mars, who has revived retro funk and R&B for a new generation, on Sunday night, upsetting odds-favorites Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z to take home the evening's three most prestigious awards.
The Grammy Awards in a surprise snub for the hip-hop world, which had hoped for a major breakthrough on the music industry's biggest night.
The 24K Magic singer won all of the awards for which he was in the running on what was expected to be a major night for hip-hop, which for the first time dominated nominations for the major categories.
Hip-hop mogul Jay-Z, who had led with eight nominations, ended the night empty-handed.
Kendrick Lamar for the second time swept all rap categories but failed to win the general prizes.
The industry seized on its annual gala to rally on behalf of the growing women's movement against sexual harassment, with pop singer Kesha delivering a fierce performance about her own abuse story.
He won the top prize, Album of the Year, for "24K Magic" as well as Record of the Year, which recognizes top tune, for the title track, a tale of good times with beautiful women set to 1980s-style synths and rhythms.
The Recording Academy, the body of 13,000 music professionals, also gave him Song of the Year, which awards songwriting, for another track on the album "That's What I Like," an old-school ode to making love in high style.
The 32-year-old singer, sporting a bright smile and sunglasses, recalled how he first performed as a child for tourists in his native Hawaii.
"I remember seeing it firsthand people dancing that had never met each other from two sides of the globe, dancing with each other, toasting with each other, celebrating together," he said.
"All I wanted to do with this album was that," he told thousands of industry players at Madison Square Garden in New York, where the Grammys temporarily shifted after 15 years in Los Angeles.