The show featured performances from veterans and relative newcomers
More than 19 million Americans watched this year's Grammys - up 11% on last year, according to early ratings.
The programme, shown live on US network CBS, was watched by 19.05 million compared with the 17.18 million of 2008, Nielsen Media Research said.
Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant and collaborator, bluegrass singer Alison Krauss, took five prizes during the three-and-a-half hour Los Angeles show.
Coldplay, Adele, Duffy and Radiohead were among other UK winners.
CBS executive vice president Jack Sussman said: "The Recording Academy put on quite a show - an unprecedented 24 performances and a range of artists that appealed to 'tweens', teens, young adults and baby boomers."
Performers on the night included Sir Paul McCartney who performed Beatles hit I Saw Her Standing There with the Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl on drums.
Other performers included veterans U2 and Stevie Wonder, who teamed up with US teen band the Jonas Brothers.
Also appealing to the younger audience was singer Miley Cyrus, 16, who duetted with country star Taylor Swift, 19.
But performances from singer Rihanna and her partner, R&B star Chris Brown, were cancelled after police announced he was being investigated for allegedly attacking a woman in a car on Saturday night.