Adele was among the early winners at the Grammys in the US, picking up best pop solo performance for Set Fire To The Rain.
The triumph added to the six awards she won last year, while she will perform her theme to the James Bond film Skyfall at the Oscars in a couple of weeks.
She said backstage at the Grammys that she has been so busy she has had little time to work on her new album. "I'm not very far along at all," she confessed. "I've been out of the loop really".
Sir Paul McCartney was another British success story, taking the best traditional pop vocal album prize for Kisses On The Bottom. It was the ex-Beatle's 15th Grammy, but it was his first solo album to win the top honour in its category.
Mumford & Sons' album Babel won album of the year. The British rockers said they had not expected to win "since the Black Keys have been sweeping all day".
It was the foursome's second win of the night as they also won best long form music video.
The night was set to have a series of British highlights, with performers including Sir Elton John and Ed Sheeran, and Mumford & Sons.
Other early winners included the Beach Boys, who reunited at last year's show and launched a tour to celebrate their 50th anniversary.
They won the first Grammy of their career for The Smile Sessions, which was intended to be the follow-up to their masterpiece Pet Sounds in the 1960s, but was abandoned at the time by Brian Wilson.
The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach is the night's top winner with four awards. Gotye, Skrillex, the Black Keys, Jay-Z and Kanye West have won three Grammys each.