LOS ANGELES (AP) – Beyonce captured a record-tying five Grammys on Sunday for her solo debut album “Dangerously in Love,” while Justin Timberlake had two and apologized for his role in Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl flash.

Jackson’s breast-baring at the hands of dance partner Timberlake remained the major subplot. CBS and Jackson offered conflicting reports about why she was not at the show, and CBS – which also televised the Super Bowl – instituted a five-minute delay on the “live” Grammy broadcast to avoid any more scandal.

“I know it’s been a rough week on everybody,” said Timberlake, stifling a self-deprecating laugh while accepting the best male pop vocal performance award for “Cry Me A River.” He brought his mother as his date.

“What occurred was unintentional, completely regrettable, and I apologize if you guys are offended,” he said.

The 46th annual awards show began at 4:55 p.m. with Prince – a former raunch king in his ’80s heyday – performing “Purple Rain,” marking the 20th year of the groundbreaking song and movie.

Beyonce, wearing a tight dress with a feather skirt that fleetingly revealed her pink panties, joined Prince on his hits and then sang her own “Crazy in Love,” which won two trophies – for best R&B song and best rap/sung collaboration. Her boyfriend, Jay-Z, won two awards for collaborating on that hit.

Beyonce also won best female R&B performance for “Dangerously in Love,” best contemporary R&B album for “Dangerously in Love” and best R&B performance by a duo or group with vocals for “The Closer I Get To You,” a remake she did with Luther Vandross.

Her five trophies tied a record set by Alicia Keys, Norah Jones and Lauryn Hill for the most Grammys won by a female artist.

“This is unbelievable. Performing was enough for me,” an excited Beyonce said.

OutKast, nominated for a leading six Grammys, had won two awards an hour into the broadcast: best urban/alternative performance for “Hey Ya!” and best rap album for “Speakerboxxx-The Love Below.”

Other multiple winners included Jack White of The White Stripes and Eminem, with two each, and bluegrass singer Alison Krauss, who had three.

The year’s best-selling artist, rapper 50 Cent, was shut out despite five nominations. But the bullet-scarred rapper made sure he got onstage anyway, walking up with Evanescence when they beat him out for best new artist.

“Thank you, 50,” said Evanesence’s Amy Lee as the rap star smiled for the camera.

It was a rare moment of surprise for a tightly scripted show devoid of outrageousness or wildness – unlike today’s pop scene.

Timberlake was all over the awards, performing on several songs and winning two trophies. CBS said in a statement that it had reservations about allowing him and Jackson to appear as planned, but ultimately “respected the Recording Academy’s wishes to produce the program they originally intended.”

CBS said it agreed to allow Timberlake and Jackson as long as they apologized on the air for their Super Bowl stunt.

But a statement from Jackson’s camp said CBS and the Grammys first asked her not to attend, then reversed themselves and re-invited her, but she chose not to attend.

“She was never uninvited,” said Jason Padgitt of the publicity firm Rogers & Cowan, which represents the Recording Academy. “She was always invited to be here and she chose not to be.”

The incident bubbled below the surface all night. “I don’t want to have the same thing happen that Janet had done,’ Christina Aguilera said while accepting the award for XXXXX in a dress cut so low CBS briefly imposed a graphic across her chest. “But, uh, if I can keep it together …”

Vandross, who suffered a debilitating stroke last year, also won two other awards: best male R&B vocal performance for “Dance With My Father,” and best R&B album for “Dance With My Father.” Vandross is still recovering and was not well enough to attend.

However, he did address the crowd via videotape after a tribute featuring Alicia Keys, Celine Dion and Richard Marx, who co-wrote “Dance With My Father” with Vandross. In his first public appearance since his stroke, a weak-looking Vandross said slowly: “I wish I could be with you there tonight. I want to thank everyone for your love and support.

“And remember, when I say goodbye it’s never for long, because” – and he sang – “I believe in the power of love!”

Pharrell Williams, who along with Jay-Z and OutKast also had six nominations, won his first Grammy during the pre-telecast ceremony for his production work with Chad Hugo as white-hot hitmakers The Neptunes. They have produced songs for artists ranging from Justin Timberlake to Jay-Z in 2003 alone.

The Neptunes weren’t even nominated last year, because the record companies they produced hits for forgot to put them on the ballot.

“I was a little upset last year,” Pharrell acknowledged during his acceptance speech. He also used the opportunity to stand up for friends Jackson and Timberlake. “What happened at the Super Bowl was a bit much, but I happen to know both of those people … and they’ve done great things to support people around the world.”

The late Johnny Cash, and director Mark Romanek, won for best short form music video for the haunting song “Hurt.” Cash’s wife, who died a few months before him in 2003, won best traditional folk album for the posthumous release “Wildwood Flower.”

Another posthumous winner was Warren Zevon, who died of lung cancer just days after the release of his disc “The Wind,” which won best contemporary folk album. It was his first Grammy.

The unusual team of former President Bill Clinton, former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev and Sophia Loren won best spoken word album for children for their reading on “Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf/Beintus: Wolf Tracks.”

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AP-ES-02-08-04 2229EST

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