It was the battle of the divas for the biggest award of the Grammys this year, with Adele and Beyonce the clear frontrunners to take home Album of the Year.

In the end, Adele scored the award - one of several for the night - for 25, but she herself felt Beyonce was the worthy winner for her acclaimed Lemonade visual album.

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In an emotional speech closing the mammoth award ceremony, Adele declared the award truly belonged to Beyonce, who was standing just feet away in the front row.

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"I can't possibly accept this award," a tearful Adele announced.

"I'm very grateful and very gracious, but my artist of my life is Beyonce, and this album for me ... the Lemonade album was so monumental, well thought out and so beautiful and soul-baring.

"We all got to see another side to you that you don't always let us see, and we appreciate that. All us artists here f**king adore you," she said, marking her second f-bomb of the night (after using a previous speech to apologise for her first).

"You are our light. The way you make me and my friends feel, the way you make my black friends feel, is empowering. You make them stand up for themselves, and I love you. I always have, and I always will," she told Beyonce, who herself was fighting back tears.

Just minutes earlier, taking out the Record of the Year award, Adele had already paid tribute to Beyonce, announcing: "My dream and my idol is Queen Bey. I adore you, you move my soul every single day and you have done for nearly 17 years. I want you to be my mummy, alright?"