The British singer was the big winner at the US event - held in Los Angeles - taking home trophies for Record of the Year, Short Form Music Video and Song of the Year for her single 'Rolling in the Deep', Pop Solo Performance for 'Someone Like You', and both Pop Vocal Album and the coveted Album of the Year for her second record, '21'.
Picking up the last award, she said: "I just first want to say 'Mum, girl did good.'
"This record is inspired by something that is really normal and everyone's been through it, just a rubbish relationship, and it's gone on to do things I can't tell you how I feel about it, it's been the most life-changing year."
Adele, 23, also thanked doctors who had operated on her vocal cords last year in order to save her voice, and gave her first performance since then, singing 'Rolling in the Deep', which received a standing ovation.
The show also included tributes to Whitney Houston - who was tragically found dead at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Saturday (11.02.12) - with Jennifer Hudson giving a moving rendition of one of her biggest hits, 'I Will Always Love You'.
Host LL Cool J led the crowd in a prayer, and said: "We were up all night, and we just wanted to figure out and show Whitney Houston, the love, the respect she deserves."
Elsewhere at the awards, Foo Fighters picked up five trophies, including Best Rock Performance for their track 'Walk'.
Singer Dave Grohl said: "Rather than go to the best studio, We made this one in my garage with some microphones and a tape machine.
"It shows that the human element of making music is what's most important."
Kanye West had the most nominations ahead of the awards with seven, and took home four, including Best Rap Album for 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy', and both Rap Song and Rap/Sung Collaboration for his single 'All of The Lights'.
Dance music prodcuer Skrillex took home two awards, Dance/Electronica Album for his second album 'Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites', and Dance Recording for its title track.
Grammy Awards 2012, edited list of winners:
Album of the Year: '21', Adele
Record of the Year: 'Rolling in the Deep', Adele
Song of the Year: 'Rolling in the Deep', Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth
New Artist: Bon Iver
Pop Solo Performance: 'Someone Like You', Adele
Pop Vocal Album: '21', Adele
Alternative Album: 'Bon Iver', Bon Iver
Rock Song: 'Walk', Foo Fighters
Rock Album: 'Wasting Light', Foo Fighters
Rock Performance: 'Walk', Foo Fighters
Hard Rock/Metal Performance: 'White Limo', Foo Fighters
R&B Album: 'F.A.M.E.', Chris Brown
R&B Performance: 'Is This Love', Corrine Bailey Rae
Traditional R&B Vocal Performance: 'Fool For You', Cee Lo Green & Melanie Fiona
Rap Album: 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy', Kanye West
Rap Performance: 'Otis', Jay-Z and Kanye West
Rap Song: 'All of the Lights', Jeff Bhasker Stacy Ferguson Malik Jones Warren Trotter & Kanye West
Dance Recording: 'Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites', Skrillex
Dance/Electronica Album: 'Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites', Skrillex
Country Solo Performance: 'Mean', Taylor Swift
Country Album: 'Own the Night', Lady Antebellum
Country Performance by a Duo or Group: 'Barton Hollow', The Civil Wars
Country Song: 'Mean', Taylor Swift
Blues Album: 'Revelator', Tedeschi Trucks Band
Folk Album: 'Barton Hollow', The Civil Wars