Hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar took home five Grammys, including best rap album, pop star Taylor Swift won her second album of the year for 1989 and the popular summer anthem Uptown Funk took home record of the year.
Lamar also won best rap song and best rap performance for Alright from the album To Pimp a Butterfly. But it was his outstanding performance that crowned him the night's victor.
He made a powerful statement with his politically-charged number, which included three tracks from his nominated album. He approached the stage in handcuffs against a prison backdrop and ended the performance with a map of Africa projected behind him and the word "Compton" written on it.
Statements on stage
Swift, who is the first female to win two album of the year Grammys, gave a personal message to young women about not getting sidetracked by haters on the road to success.
"One day when you get where you're going, you'll look around and you will know it was you and the people who love you who put you there," she told the audience in her acceptance speech.
The Weeknd, who performed Can't Feel My Face and In the Night during the telecast without his expected guest Lauryn Hill, picked up two awards at the pre-televised ceremony: best R&B performance for the Fifty Shades of Grey song Earned It and best urban contemporary album for Beauty Behind the Madness.
British artist Ed Sheeran took home song of the year and pop solo performance for Thinking Out Loud.
He was presented his trophy by Stevie Wonder, who, after making a joke about the announcement card being written in Braille so no one else could read it, went on to make an impassioned plea about accessibility.
"We need to make every single thing accessible to every single person with a disability."
The highly-anticipated All I Ask performance by Adele was plagued by audio issues. Lady Gaga did an electrifying tribute to the late David Bowie with a seven-minute medley of his songs, including Fashion, Fame, and Heroes.
Other Canadian winnners
Justin Bieber, whose hometown is Stratford, Ont., won his first ever Grammy for best dance recording for the song Where Are U Now alongside EDM hit makers Diplo and Skrillex. They performed together on stage after Bieber did an acoustic rendition of his new song Love Yourself.
The Weeknd's co-writer and producer Stephan Moccio, who is also Canadian, shared the win for best urban contemporary album for Beauty Behind the Madness.
Legendary singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell won for best album notes on Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting To Be Danced.
Jan Haust, a native of London, Ont., and Hamilton's Peter Moore captured the honour for best historical album for The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11, featuring the music of Bob Dylan and Toronto's The Band. The duo shared the award with Steve Berkowitz, Jeff Rosen and Mark Wilder.