Outspoken country music group the Dixie Chicks were the big winners at last night's Grammy Awards, taking home five accolades.

The girls previously raised eyebrows when singer Natalie Maines said that she was ashamed to come from the same county as US president George Bush.

But this morning they are making headlines after being handed awards for record of the year, best country album, album of the year, song of the year and best country performance by a duo or group.

Accepting the award for album of the year, Maines said: "I think people are using their freedom of speech here tonight with all of these awards."

Other singers triumphing last night included the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who were handed four awards including best rock performance by a group and best rock song.

Mary J Blige went home with three awards: best female R&B performance; best R&B song; and best R&B album.

Performers at the star-studded US show included Beyonce, American Idol winner Carrie Underwood and Britain's Corinne Bailey Rae and James Blunt, who gave a rendition of his number one hit You're Beautiful.

12/02/2007 10:24:23