Grammy Awards see US audience boosted to 40 million

Adele at the Grammys British singer Adele picked up six awards

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A US audience of nearly 40 million watched this year's Grammys Awards, figures have shown.

The ceremony drew 39.9 million viewers - the second-largest audience in Grammy history and the biggest since 1984 when Michael Jackson was rewarded for his Thriller album.

The show followed the death of Whitney Houston to whom the music industry paid tribute and saw singer Adele's first performance after vocal cord surgery.

A modest 26.6 million watched in 2011.

Host LL Cool J opened the event with a prayer for Houston, while Jennifer Hudson also performed a tribute to the star, singing I Will Always Love You.

The show also featured a controversial church-inspired performance from Nicki Minaj, while Sir Paul McCartney, Foo Fighters, Taylor Swift, Chris Brown, Rihanna and Coldplay also performed.

However critical reaction to the ceremony was mixed.

Jon Caramanica of The New York Times called the show "one of the dullest Grammy ceremonies in recent memory".

The Washington Post's Chris Richards criticised the Grammys for not using Houston's death as an opportunity to "memorialize a voice that once embodied the excellence the awards claim to celebrate," saying the show instead consisted of "disjointed collaborations".

While The Hollywood Reporter's Tim Goodman commented: "You can take the Grammys for what they are - an awards ceremony that has for decades ignored deserving artists, which would be a boring and pedantic rant.

"Or just go with the fact that, at its best, the Grammys is a night when colliding musical forces can sometimes come together to make magic."

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