STARS SHINE IN SHRINE

Our man in the Shrine Auditorium with the inside story on the USmusic industry's party of the year...

MADONNA’s ‘MUSIC’ opened the GRAMMY awards last night at the LOS ANGELES SHRINE AUDITORIUM, NME.COM’s on-the-spot reporter writes.

The queen of pop – who is rumoured to have already recorded an acceptance speech for Best International Female at the Brit Awards next week – opened the glittering Grammys ceremony with an elaborate set, writhing over a spangly limousine on the stage with the number plate ‘SNATCH D’, and the audience showered with gold.

Accepting U2’s hat-trick of awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Rock Performance by a Group for ‘Beautiful Day’, Bono made a touchingly humble speech: “I would like to thank God and my mother. I just have this feeling that God is looking down saying about the song, ‘There’s no hook and the chorus is

weak and they’ll never play that on the radio.’ But thank you for playing it

on the radio.”

He added: “It’s a very unique emotion I’m feeling right now. I think it’s called

humility”.

U2 were one of 14 acts who performed at the ceremony – dominated by that Eminem/Elton duet, after which he left the stage with middle finger raised – including *N Sync, who performed their single ‘This I Promise You’.

Accepting the first of his three awards Eminem said: “I can’t let nobody down tonight,” before reading out a list of thank yous.

Presenter, talk show host Jon Stewart, had to deal with a stage-crasher at one point during the ceremony and made quips throughout alleging Eminem may be gay, commenting: “I’ve heard that Eminem will do the duet with Elton John and then do the bathroom with George Michael.”

Celebs presenting the awards, who included Kid Rock and Heather Locklear, who handed over Macy Gray’s gong for Best Female vocal for ‘I Try’, at one stage shot free T-shirts into the audience from a bazooka.

Accepting the award for Best Pop Vocal Album, Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen was heckled as he said: “We’ve been around a long time, it’s nice to get one of these,” with sections of the audience sniggering, tutting and one member commenting: “What a dickhead.”

Only 13 of the 100-plus awards, voted for by 12,000 members of the Grammys voting academy, were shown live on TV.

Speaking to NMECOM at the BMG record label party after the ceremony, Moby said his performance with Jill Scott and The Blue Man Group had been adrenaline-driven, and added: “Getting the only standing ovation of the night was OK too.”

NME.COM has been out partying all night in Los Angeles with the stars. Click back later for gossip and the final round-up of the after-show shenanigans.