Justin Timberlake and Daft Punk each pick up two awards in the pre-telecast ceremony.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis took their first Grammy Awards by storm.
The duo was named best new artist Sunday night, and they also won three major rap awards: best performance and best song for Thrift Shop and best album for The Heist.
"Before there was any media, before there was any buzz, before there was a story, there was our fans," Macklemore when accepting the award for best new artist. "Without them, there would be no us."
Daft Punk's album Random Access Memories picked up two Grammys, for best dance/electronica album and engineered album, and Pharrell Williams won his first award of the night for producer of the year.
Justin Timberlake also won two early Grammys: Suit & Tie was named best music video, and Pusher Love Girl was best R&B song. Alicia Keys' Girl on Fire was tops in the R&B album category, while best urban contemporary album went to Rihanna's Unapologetic.
Imagine Dragons' Radioactive won for best rock performance, God Is Dead? garnered Black Sabbath the metal performance award, Vampire Weekend's Modern Vampire of the City picked up the Grammy for alternative music album, and Clarity, by Zedd and featuring Foxes, topped the category for best dance recording.
Best country solo performance went to Darius Rucker's Wagon Wheel, while the Civil Wars' From This Valley won for best country duo/group performance. Kacey Musgraves' hit Merry Go 'Round was named best country song.
History was also made by Led Zeppelin as the classic rock band won its first Grammy for best rock album with Celebration Day.
Macklemore & Lewis' The Heist is up for the top prize of the night — best album — against Daft Punk's Random Access Memories, Kendrick Lamar's Good Kid, m.A.A.D. City, Taylor Swift's Red and Sara Bareilles' Blessed Unrest.
Lorde is up for two major awards. Her hit song Royals is a contender for record of the year with Daft Punk's Get Lucky, Imagine Dragons' Radioactive, Bruno Mars' Locked Out of Heaven and Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines, as well as song of the year vs. Locked Out of Heaven, Just Give Me a Reason (Pink), Roar (Katy Perry) and Same Love (Macklemore & Lewis).
Jay Z's effort Magna Carta Holy Grail and various collaborations are up for a field-leading nine nominations, while Timberlake and Pharrell Williams are each up for seven awards.
The night also offers several intriguing performances. Lamar and Imagine Dragons will be performing in a musical genre mash-up, Metallica is teaming with concert pianist Lang Lang, Thicke is doing a medley with the classic rockers of Chicago, and the finale includes Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Dave Grohl and Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham taking the stage together. Other performers include Madonna, Lorde, Swift, Perry, Musgraves and Hunter Hayes.
Among other winners announced prior to the telecast, Michael Buble's To Be Loved won best traditional pop vocal album, Steve Martin and Edie Brickell's Love Has Come for You was named best American roots song, and Ziggy Marley in Concert garnered best reggae album — sending Snoop Dogg to his 16th Grammy loss.
Draco Rosa's Vida took home best Latin pop album. Best spoken-word album went to comedian Stephen Colbert's America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't, and Kathy Griffin's Calm Down Gurrl was best comedy album.
Herb Alpert won best pop instrumental album for Steppin' Out, Laura Sullivan's Love's River was named best new age album, the Broadway show Kinky Boots received the award for best musical theater album, and the James Bond film Skyfall won both best score soundtrack and best song written for visual media for the Adele title track.
Mandisa's album Overcomer and its title track won the Grammys for contemporary Christian music album and contemporary Christian song, respectively, and Tye Tribbett received the honor for best gospel album for Greater Than (Live) as well as best gospel song for If He Did It Before... Same God (Live).
In jazz categories, saxophonist Wayne Shorter conquered the improvised solo category with Orbits, vocal album went to Gregory Porter's Liquid Spirit, Terri Lyne Carrington won instrumental album for Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue, Night in Calisia was honored with the large ensemble award, and Paquito D'Rivera and Trio Corrente's Song for Maura won best Latin jazz album.
Three Paul McCartney projects picked up Grammys: Wings Over America for best boxed set and Live Kisses for best music film and surround sound. There were also a pair of tied categories — Gipsy Kings' Savor Flamenco and Ladysmith Black Mambazo's Live: Singing for Peace Around the World split for best world music album, and the Rolling Stones' Charlie Is My Darling — Ireland 1965 and Bill Withers' The Complete Sussex and Columbia Albums were winners for historical album.