The 52nd Annual Grammys are about to begin, and Lady Gaga is already the talk of the night with her white geometric hoop dress (and a few early wins). Will Beyoncé convert more of her 10 nominations into trophies? Will MusiCares honoree Neil Young nab his second-ever Grammy (he scored his first earlier tonight)? Will Britney Spears steal the spotlight by simply attending the show? Follow along as we track the action all night long.
7:58 p.m.: The show is about to begin and RS already has something to celebrate — victories for Jeff Beck, Phoenix, Lady Gaga, Bruce Springsteen and Kings of Leon. Keep up with the winners here.
8:00 p.m.: Lady Gaga opens the show on a stage dubbed "The Fame Factory." Adam Lambert is likely jealous of her mint-green-sparkled Kiss-style outfit, with its giant shoulder wings and platform shoes. She cuts off "Poker Face" after the first chorus, gets dropped into a fiery pit like a Batman villain to be turned into a monster — actually, she lands at a piano facing Elton John! They're both covered in soot and duetting on her track "Speechless," performing a sort of glitter-off as they seemingly blend in John's "Your Song." "Thank you, love you, Sir Elton John," Gaga ad libs.
8:07 p.m.: Stephen Colbert proclaims the night important because it reinforces "the right of celebrities to congratulate each other" and jokes he'd like to see a special collabo tonight: Adam Lambert and "any sense of personal restraint." Even better, he whips out an iPad to read the nominees for Song of the Year ("Jay-Z, did you not get one of these in your gift bag?"). Winner: the writers of Beyoncé's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)."
8:13 p.m.: Jennifer Lopez intros Green Day? Who plotted that?! Billie Joe Armstrong and Co. team up with the cast of their soon-to-be-Broadway-musical American Idiot for "21 Guns." Somewhere the cast of Glee is weeping with joy.
8:24 p.m.: Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel remind us there's still time to vote on which song Bon Jovi will play tonight on CBS' Website. And since they're multitasking, they also give out the award for Best Country Album. Winner: Taylor Swift's Fearless. "I feel like I'm standing here accepting an impossible dream right now," she says, ending a sincere acceptance speech.
8:27 p.m.: Beyoncé time! After marching through the crowd with a SWAT team, B ... grabs her crotch! During the first verse of "If I Were a Boy." Didn't see that one coming. Few performers sing this well live. Beyoncé is beyond a force to be reckoned with. With her all-lady band kicking it up a notch, she swings into her cover of Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know," and segues back into "Boy," all while hair-flipping and jetting around the stage.
8:39 p.m.: Seal acknowledges that Leonard Cohen has received one of the Academy's Lifetime Achievement Awards, and introduces Pink.
8:40 p.m.: We're surprised Pink isn't hanging from the ceiling yet, but her "Glitter in the Air" promises to get interesting (she said it would be "wet" on the red carpet).
8:43 p.m.: Pink sheds her Princess Leia cloak for a bodysuit seemingly made of masking tape and gets her aerial tricks going, spinning on a silk suspended from the top of Staples Center. The people in $15,000 gowns getting splashed by the water coming off of Pink cannot be thrilled right now. Remind y'all of this?:
8:45 p.m.: Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban shout out Loretta Lynn's Lifetime Achievement Award and present Best New Artist. Winner: Zac Brown Band.
8:54 p.m.: Miley Cyrus tells us we all wanted to be a part of the next performance: it's the Black Eyed Peas with "Imma Be," bringing us our first NSFW moment of the night! Fergie said something that had the censor leaning on the mute button. The fashion trend tonight is definitely futuristic military chic. Enjoying the dancers dressed up like parts of turntables. "I Gotta Feeling" this is one of their most embarrassing gigs.
9:04 p.m.: The Jonas Brothers have returned to finish off Stevie Wonder ... oh wait, they're actually introducing Lady Antebellum.
9:08 p.m.: It was always Juanes' dream to take the stage with an actress from The Big Bang Theory. How appropriate that they're presenting Best Comedy Album. Winner: Stephen Colbert. "This is a Christmas album, so obviously I should thank Jesus Christ for having such a great birthday."
9:13 p.m.: A commercial break is an ideal time to peruse our gallery of red carpet photos from earlier tonight. If you wanted to hate your life for a moment, consider the fact that Snookie and the Situation are rubbing elbows with the biggest stars in music tonight while you are rubbing nacho cheese off your fingers.
9:18 p.m.: Norah Jones and Ringo Starr note Bobby Darin's Lifetime Achievement Award and pass out the trophy for Record of the Year. Winner: Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody." "I'm not going to lie, we're all a little drunk, but we're happy drunk," says Caleb Followill.
9:20 p.m.: The biggest cheers on music's big night go to the star of Iron Man 2, Robert Downey Jr. Bonus points to the man he introduces, Jamie Foxx, for his funniest performance since In Living Color. He jokingly compares his Auto-Tune team-up with T-Pain, "Blame It," to opera before launching into the track.
9:24 p.m.: Chaos! Doug E. Fresh is beat-boxing, Slash is playing the solo from "November Rain" T-Pain is swinging his braids and somewhere Axl Rose is fuming.
9:26 p.m.: Justin Bieber (officially half the size of Ke$ha) and the "TiK ToK" star remind us to vote for which song Bon Jovi will play tonight. If "Bad Medicine" isn't on the ballot, we will abstain.
9:31 p.m.: Katy Perry and Alice Cooper: finally, an inspired pairing. Cooper didn't seem to love the banter where Perry said he taught her how to dress like a lady. Hmm. They recognize Florence Greenberg's Trustees Award and announce Best Rock Album. Winner: Green Day's 21st Century Breakdown. A shout out to Butch Vig for producing "this bastard" before Billie Joe goes to have shots with Kings of Leon.
9:35 p.m.: Leon Russell sits in with the Zac Brown Band, fresh off their win for Best New Artist, for "America the Beautiful," "Dixie Lullaby" and their most deliciously titled song, "Chicken Fried." Put your hands in the air if you love patriotism!
9:45 p.m.: Ryan Seacrest gives an effusive intro for Taylor Swift, who's wearing her version of peasant chic and strumming along to Valentine's Day soundtrack tune "Today Was a Fairytale." But wait, there's more! Stevie Nicks! There are some harmonic issues in their "Rhiannon," but it's still a cool moment. Butch Walker and Nicks join for a sweet little version of "You Belong With Me."
9:52 p.m.: Lionel Richie arrives to introduce the special 3-D Michael Jackson tribute. Note to readers: blogging in 3-D glasses is nausea-inducing and not recommended.
9:53 p.m.: Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Smokey Robinson, Carrie Underwood and Usher take the stage as footage from "Earth Song" (some of it seen in This Is It) rolls. The leaves are popping behind the singers — it's a pretty cool effect. The singers fall back as MJ's voice gets turned up, and the Grammys cut to an awesome shot of Beyoncé rocking out in her 3-D glasses. The performers turn to stare up at a classic photo of Jackson and the crowd leaps up for a standing ovation.
10:00 p.m.: Prince and Paris Jackson, Michael's two eldest children, accept their father's posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award. "Our father was always concerned about the planet and humanity," Prince says. "Through all his songs, his message was simple: love. We will continue to spread his message and help the world." "Daddy was going to perform this year," Paris adds. "Thank you, we love you, daddy."
10:08 p.m.: Sheryl Crow announces that Doug Morris has received the President's Merit award to Industry Icons, then passes the stage to Bon Jovi, who are set to play "We Weren't Born to Follow," "Who Says You Can't Go Home" and a song to be named by fans who are still voting. Jennifer Nettles trots out for "Home," providing some solid harmony. And to the surprise of nobody, fans want to hear "Livin' on a Prayer."
10:16 p.m.: Placido Domingo and Mos Def joke about either dating or working with each other. Either way, we're confused. Appropriately, they're passing out Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. Winner: Jay-Z, Rihanna and Kanye West's "Run This Town." Jay and Rihanna (and Solange Knowles' son) accept sans Kanye, but Jigga calls him a "genius."
10:24 p.m.: Wyclef Jean offers salutations from Haiti and a brief lesson in Creole. "The music industry is still alive, even though there ain't no more record companies," he adds, apropos of nothing. The following performance of Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by David Foster, Mary J. Blige and Andrea Bocelli will be up for sale on iTunes, with all proceeds going to benefit Haiti.
10:31 p.m.: Only 42 minutes until Eminem, Lil Wayne and Drake perform.
10:36 p.m.: Let's pause to thank Chase for reminding us all how excellent the Michelle Branch song "Everywhere" is.
10:37 p.m.: President and CEO of the Recording Academy Neil Portnow speaks about how the music community rallies in a time of crisis — and how they raised $4 million honoring Neil Young at the MusiCares gala. He goes on to encourage fans to buy records: "Let's all truly value music by supporting and compensating these gifted creators of the music we treasure."
10:40 p.m.: Adam Sandler lightens the mood a tad and introduces the Dave Matthews Band, who kick into "You & Me" with Tim Reynolds, a string section and a horn section, which generates one of the most effective and beautiful live performances of the night.
10:46 p.m.: Ricky Martin and Glee's Lea Michele name the nominees for Female Pop Performance. Winner: Beyoncé's "Halo." "I'm sorry, I'm nervous," she says, in a moment of genuine awe. "I'd like to thank my family for all their support, including my husband." That's you, Jay-Z!
10:53 p.m.: LL Cool J is conveniently a musician and a CBS TV star. That makes him extra qualified to note Honeyboy Edwards' Lifetime Achievement Award.
10:56 p.m.: Maxwell arrives to sing his Grammy-winning song "Pretty Wings." If only Robin Thicke was here to have a smooth-off. His special guest: Roberta Flack. We can never get too much "Where Is the Love."
11:00 p.m.: Always a poignant moment: the memorial reel reminds us we've lost Mary Travers, Teddy Pendergrass, DJ AM, Vic Chesnutt, Ellie Greenwich and many more this year.
11:03 p.m.: Jeff Bridges announces the Les Paul tribute as the Grammys cut to an insane shot of Lady Gaga wearing a lightning bolt. But back to Les Paul, who gave us the solid-body electric guitar. Jeff Beck and Imelda May kick off the tribute, with Beck eschewing his yellow Fender for a sunburst Les Paul on "How High the Moon."
11:11 p.m.: Quentin Tarantino gives a moment to Clark Terry, another Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. And now for something completely different. Some big ups for Drake, who is about to perform with "not one, but two of the most inglorious bastards in all of rap history": Eminem, Lil Wayne (and Travis Barker on drums).
11:13 p.m.: Cherish this, folks — this may be the last we see of Weezy for a while (his sentencing is scheduled for February 9th). And the censor forgets to take his/her finger off the mute button! Between bleeps, Wayne is rapping "Drop the World," his Rebirth collabo with Eminem. Drake arrives for "Forever," and the censor sighs with relief. Jamie Foxx is capturing this on his video camera, Taylor Swift is rocking out at her seat.
11:24 p.m.: John Legend and Carlos Santana pat each other on the back. But there's serious business here: Album of the Year. (We kind of want to see Lady Gaga win so she has to accept in that outfit.) Winner: Taylor Swift. She's the youngest to ever take home this prize.
11:30 p.m.: And we made it! The final tally: six wins for Beyoncé, four for Taylor Swift, three for Kings of Leon, three for the Black Eyed Peas, and two for Lady Gaga.
Check back tomorrow when we'll have a full report from the ground — what you didn't see on TV during tonight's broadcast of the Grammys.