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Grammys Score Best TV Ratings in 11 Years

Many winners and performers see sales bumps after 26 million people watch the awards show

February 15, 2011 9:50 AM ET
Mick Jagger performs at the Grammy awards on February 13, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
Mick Jagger performs at the Grammy awards on February 13, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

The Grammy Awards Sunday night were watched by 26.66 million viewers, the largest audience for the ceremony in 11 years. Viewership was up by three percent from 2010, and the broadcast performed better in the 18-to-49 demographic than it had since 2004.

Photos: Best 2011 Grammy Moments: Lady Gaga, Bob Dylan and More

Unsurprisingly, the large audience resulted in a sales bump for some of the big winners and less famous acts featured in the broadcast. Full sales figures will not be available until next week, but according to Eric Garland of the digital research firm Big Champagne, preliminary data from iTunes reported spikes in sales for Song of the Year and Record of the Year winner Lady Antebellum, Album of the Year winner Arcade Fire and surprise Best New Artist winner Esperanza Spalding.

Photos: The 2011 Grammy Awards Red Carpet: Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Katy Perry and more

The British folk rock group Mumford & Sons also saw a significant boost in digital sales after their performance with Bob Dylan and the Avett Brothers. According to their American label Glassnote Entertainment, sales of the band's album Sigh No More increased significantly, pushing it to the top of both iTunes and Amazon's digital album charts.

Grammy awards watched by more than 26 million in US [BBC]

Grammy show a sales winner for performers [L.A. Times]

RELATED:
Arcade Fire, Lady Antebellum, Lady Gaga Win Big at the Grammys
Grammy Awards: Complete Coverage
Rob Sheffield's Real-Time Reactions

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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