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Viewers return to event in big numbers

Lots of upsets, life-size Jim Henson Co. puppets and a giant egg carrying Lady Gaga were enough to drive the Grammy Awards to its largest audience in more than a decade. Sunday night's biggest winner, however, might be an act that didn't even take home a trophy.

The U.K. folk-rock band Mumford & Sons, which went 0-2 in its nominated categories but performed with Bob Dylan, has already seen a huge boost in digital sales.

As albums continue to decline at a more-than-double-digit pace - sales are down 14 percent in 2011 compared with 2010 - the Grammys are increasingly looked to for providing a major sales boost.

About 26.6 million people tuned in to the music industry's biggest awards show to see Arcade Fire, Lady Antebellum and jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding score surprise wins. That's a 2.5 percent increase over last year's program and the largest audience since the 2000 show, which drew 27.8 million viewers.

The numbers are indicative of the appeal of live events. Awards shows, particularly music ones, have had a renaissance as of late. Some credit social networking and sites such as Twitter, which allow viewers the ability to share thoughts and critiques while the program is happening, as a factor in driving interest in live shows.

Last year's album of the year winner, Taylor Swift, experienced a 58 percent sales jump for her "Fearless" (Big Machine), while performer Pink saw a massive 235 percent for her "Funhouse" (LaFace).

In the four years leading up to 2009, SoundScan reported that week-over-week, post-Grammy sales increases grew from 10 percent to 17 percent.

Here is a partial list of winners at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards in major categories, as announced Sunday by the Recording Academy.

General

Album of the year | "The Suburbs," Arcade Fire

Record of the year | "Need You Now," Lady Antebellum

Song of the year | "Need You Now," Dave Haywood, Josh Kear, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott, songwriters

Best new artist | Esperanza Spalding

Pop

Female vocal performance | "Bad Romance," Lady Gaga

Male vocal performance | "Just the Way You Are," Bruno Mars

Vocal album | "The Fame Monster," Lady Gaga

Performance by a duo or group with vocals | "Hey, Soul Sister (Live)," Train

Collaboration with vocals | "Imagine," Herbie Hancock, Pink, India.Arie, Seal, Konono No. 1, Jeff Beck & Oumou Sangare

Traditional vocal album | "Crazy Love," Michael Buble

Rock

Album | "The Resistance," Muse

Solo vocal performance | "Helter Skelter," Paul McCartney

Performance by a duo or group with vocals | "Tighten Up," the Black Keys

Alternative

Album | "Brothers," the Black Keys

R&B

Album | "Wake Up!" John Legend & the Roots

Female vocal performance | "Bittersweet," Fantasia

Male vocal performance | "There Goes My Baby," Usher

Performance by a duo or group with vocals | "Soldier of Love," Sade

Contemporary album | "Raymond V Raymond," Usher

Rap

Solo performance | "Not Afraid," Eminem

Performance by a duo or group | "On to the Next One," Jay-Z & Swizz Beatz

Rap/sung collaboration | "Empire State of Mind," Jay-Z & Alicia Keys

Album | "Recovery," Eminem

Country

Song | "Need You Now," Dave Haywood, Josh Kear, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott, songwriters

Album | "Need You Now," Lady Antebellum

Female vocal performance | "The House That Built Me," Miranda Lambert

Male vocal performance | "'Til Summer Comes Around," Keith Urban

Performance by a duo or group with vocals | "Need You Now," Lady Antebellum

Collaboration with vocals | "As She's Walking Away," Zac Brown Band and Alan Jackson

Jazz

Vocal album | "Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee," Dee Dee Bridgewater

Instrumental album, individual or group | "Moody 4B," James Moody

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