Sam Smith is off to a winning start at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards after picking up the first big prize of the night for Best New Artist.

The British soul sensation fought off competition from rapper Iggy Azalea, country singer Brandy Clark, rockers Bastille and sibling trio Haim to claim the title, one of six he is nominated for at Sunday night's (08Feb15) ceremony.

After giving thanks to his label representatives, a stunned Smith closed his acceptance speech saying, "Mum and Dad... I won a Grammy!"

Heavy rockers AC DC opened the Los Angeles prizegiving at the Staples Center with a medley of hits, including Rock or Bust and their classic Highway to Hell, with former bandmate Chris Slade sitting in for embattled drummer Phil Rudd, who is facing criminal charges in New Zealand.

The veteran musicians had celebrity fans including Lady Gaga, Sir Paul MCCartney, Blake Shelton and Katy Perry rocking out in the crowd as they made their first appearance at the Grammy Awards in four years.

Best New Artist was the first award of the televised ceremony, but a number of artists were already winners as they walked the red carpet at music's big night.

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett landed the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for their Cheek To Cheek project, while Jack White's Lazaretto was named Best Rock Performance and Paramore claimed Best Rock Song for Ain't It Fun.

Kendrick Lamar was also an early double winner, scoring accolades for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for I, while another six-time nominee, Beyonce, won the Best R&B Song for Drunk In Love, featuring Jay Z.

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