Adele , who now has a career total of 15 Grammys, seemed stunned, telling reporters backstage that she "felt like it was her (Beyonce's) time to win."
Adele won all five Grammys for which she was nominated, including for her comeback album "25" and her single "Hello."
"My queen and my idol is Queen B. I adore you," the British singer said to Beyonce , seated in the front row, as she accepted her award.
"I can't possibly accept this award, and I'm very humble and very grateful. But my artist of my life is Beyonce . This album for me, the 'Lemonade' album, was so monumental," she added.
In her first public appearance since her announcement 12 days ago that she is expecting twins, Beyonce donned a sheer, glittering gold dress and halo crown to perform her ballads "Love Drought" and "Sandcastles."
Singing seated on a chair and surrounded by petals, she also appeared in video projections wearing a gold-chain string bikini.
Moments later, Adele literally stopped the show after flubbing the start of a tribute to the late British pop star George Michael.
"I'm sorry. I know it's live TV," she said, cursing, stopping her slow ballad version of Michael's "Fastlove" and asking to start again. "I can't mess this up for him (Michael)," she said. She later apologized for causing any offense.
Later, Minneapolis band The Time and Bruno Mars performed an up-tempo tribute to Prince, celebrating his musical legacy.