"Especially Grenade, that's the song we worked the hardest on, that's our trophy right there," he said. "We're most proud of that one."
Though he wasn't shy about his success: "Was I expecting it?" he said after being asked about his wealth of nominations. "Uh, yeah! You think I'm doing this for fun?"
The singer then turned humble, praising Adele and Kanye West. "I'm a fan of all this music, so I'm trying to enjoy these little moments," he said. He also offered his dream collaboration: "Prince, for sure."
The Band Perry's Big Year
The hits keep coming for The Band Perry, who earned a Best New Artist nomination on Wednesday night.
"We flew into L.A. yesterday and got the great news that our album has been certified platinum," singer Kimberly Perry said backstage, before the band was whisked away to play an after party. "For us, it's been a ton of firsts. We started it out at the ACM Awards, got Best New Artist, just had the CMA Awards and took home three. We have a show coming up in February at the Ryman [Auditorium], which is our first headlining show in Nashville and we sold it out in 20 minutes. It's just been one thing after another."
But the Grammy nom was special for the sibling group, for whom watching the ceremony is a family affair.
"It kind of is like the Super Bowl, we would always make an event of it in our household," she said. "We would get a pizza, make an evening of it."
Jason Aldean's Big Break
It was a night of firsts (and seconds -- the country singer was joined by Ludacris on "Dirt Road Anthem" for their sophomore performance of the track) for Jason Aldean, as well.
"These are my first Grammy nominations, so I literally found out 15 minutes ago," he said backstage, looking the part in shredded jeans and a broad cowboy hat. "I'm flying pretty high right now."
He'll have plenty of time to relax before the February ceremony: "I'm taking about a month and a half off," he said.
Taraji P. Henson's Big Prediction
The actress, a presenter, was the rare Hollywood face at the evening of music, but Henson joked that she'd be contending herself soon enough.
"They'll have plenty of questions for me next year when I'm nominated for a Grammy," she said laughing. "We're still coming up with concepts so I'm taking suggestions."
But the actress assured the press that she was a "huge music person."
"I have over 10,000 songs on my iPod, I listen to everything." she said. "It was fun, I'm glad they called me!"