LOS ANGELES (AP) Veteran rockers U2 and Steely Dan and country singer Faith Hill stole some of the Grammy thunder yesterday from Eminem, whose angry lyrics entangled the ceremonies in controversy.

Paul Wong
Elton John and Eminem embrace at the conclusion of their duet at the 43rd annual Grammy Awards last night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.<br><br>AP PHOTO

Steely Dan, who had never won a Grammy until yesterday, claimed three, including album of the year for “Two Against Nature,” besting Eminem”s controversial “The Marshall Mathers LP.” Eminem won three awards in rap music categories.

U2 also won three awards, including the prestigious song and record of the year for “Beautiful Day.”

“It”s a very unique emotion I”m feeling right now. I think it”s called humility,” said U2″s Bono, who added that fellow nominee Macy Gray and others should share the band”s award. “I”m completely not used to it.”

Hill won three awards, including best country album. Her “Breathe” won best country vocal performance and her duet with her husband, Tim McGraw, won best country collaboration with vocals.

“Wow! Oh, I cannot believe this,” Hill said. “I would like to thank my mom and dad for allowing me to go to my first concert when I was 8 years old to Elvis Presley.”

D”Angelo and Destiny”s Child won two Grammys apiece.

D”Angelo”s “Voodoo” won best R&B album and his song, “Untitled (How Does It Feel)” won best male R&B vocal performance. Destiny”s Child “Say My Name” won best R&B song and best R&B performance by a group.

Steely Dan also won best pop album for “Two Against Nature,” their first disc in 19 years, as well as best pop vocal performance by a group for “Cousin Dupree.”

“We”ve been around a long time,” said Steely Dan”s Donald Fagen. “It”s nice to get one of these.”

Eminem the target of 100 protesters outside the awards show was honored for best solo rap performance, best rap album and best rap performance by a duo or group for his collaboration with his mentor and producer, Dr. Dre.

“I want to thank everybody who could look past the controversy and see the album for what it was and for what it wasn”t,” he said.

Eminem”s nomination for album of the year for “The Marshall Mathers LP” drew the most controversy. The album, which has sold nearly 8 million copies, denigrates homosexuals, describes the murder of his wife and has a rape fantasy involving Eminem”s mother.

Elton John came under intense criticism from gay activists for agreeing to perform with the 28-year-old Detroit rapper during the Grammy show.

Their duet, on Eminem”s song “Stan,” included three expletives that slipped past CBS censors.

The controversy, and diverse group of nominees, promised to drive up viewership for the annual awards show.

Madonna lost out on the best female pop vocal Grammy the award went to Gray for “I Try.”

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