Anglo-Australian rockers AC/DC won the first Grammy of their career on Sunday, ending one of the most notable snubs by the music industry's top awards.
The band won the best hard rock performance statuette for the song "War Machine," beating past winners Metallica and Linkin Park as well as Nickelback and Alice in Chains.
It remained in contention for best rock album, where its rivals include Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood, Green Day, Dave Matthews Band and U2.
The award was handed out during a nontelevised ceremony where 100 of the 109 categories were announced ahead of the main telecast that was set to kick off at 5 p.m. PST (0100 GMT Monday) at the Staples Center. The rock album prize will be announced then.
AC/DC did not get its first Grammy nomination until 1991 when its album "The Razors Edge" was cited in the two-year-old hard rock performance category. It lost to Living Colour. A handful of nominations dribbled in over the ensuing years, although the band's recorded output had slowed by then.
During AC/DC's heyday in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Grammy voters largely ignored rock music and especially its harder offshoots. In 1980, when AC/DC released what would turn out to be one of the biggest records of all time, "Back in Black," the Grammys showered statuettes on Christopher Cross and Bob Seger.
AC/DC is currently touring New Zealand as part of the "Black Ice" world tour that kicked off in the United States in October 2008. Its album of the same name, its first release in almost seven years, has sold 6.7 million copies worldwide.
The band, which formed in Australia in 1973, has largely ignored prevailing musical
trends to churn out a familiar diet of songs powered by blues-based guitar riffs and lyrics laced with double entendres.
Original singer Bon Scott, the voice behind such classics as "Highway to Hell" and "Let There Be Rock," died of alcohol poisoning in 1980 and was replaced within weeks by Brian Johnson. The group has long traded on the mythology built around lead guitarist Angus Young who dresses like a schoolboy, but his low-profile older brother Malcolm on rhythm guitar is considered the group's musical force.