Lorde performs “Royals” at the 56th annual Grammy Awards,
Scenes from the 56th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles. (Reuters photos)
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
"Random Access Memories" - Daft Punk
RECORD OF THE YEAR
"Get Lucky" - Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers
SONG OF THE YEAR (Songwriter's award)
"Royals" - Joel Little and Ella Yelich O'Connor (Lorde), songwriters
BEST NEW ARTIST
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM
"Unorthodox Jukebox" - Bruno Mars
BEST ROCK ALBUM
"Celebration Day" - Led Zeppelin
BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM
"Modern Vampires Of The City" - Vampire Weekend
BEST R&B ALBUM
"Girl on Fire" - Alicia Keys
BEST RAP ALBUM
"The Heist" - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
BEST COUNTRY ALBUM
"Same Trailer Different Park" - Kacey Musgraves
LOS ANGELES - French electronic music DJs Daft Punk and New Zealand teen Lorde took home the top Grammy awards on Sunday in a night that rewarded robots and newcomers, and recognized marriage equality.
In a first for the Grammys or any big U.S. awards show, thirty-three couples, both same-sex and straight, were married by singer Queen Latifah, to the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis gay rights anthem, "Same Love." Madonna emerged in a white suit and cowboy hat to conclude the singing ceremony with "Open Your Heart."
The music industry's glamorous gathering also saw the two surviving Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, come together for a rare joint performance coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the British group's breakthrough on American television.
The quirky robotic duo, Daft Punk, scored the double win of album of the year for "Random Access Memories," and record of the year with the summer dance hit "Get Lucky," featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers.
"When I was drinking years ago, I used to imagine things that weren't there were frightening. Then I got sober and two robots called me and asked me to make an album," quipped Paul Williams, one of the featured artists in "Random Access Memories."
Formed in the early 1990s by French DJs Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, Daft Punk were pioneers of the electronic dance music phenomenon that has recently swept the U.S. mainstream pop industry.
Lorde, 17, won the Grammy for song of the year with her breakout hit "Royals," sharing the award for songwriters with Joel Little. They triumphed over the writers behind Katy Perry's "Roar" and Bruno Mars' "Locked Out of Heaven," among others.
The Recording Academy also anointed Seattle-based rapper-producer newcomers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with the Grammy for best new artist. They also swept the rap awards and arguably presided over the biggest dramatic moment of the night, the marriage ceremony in a cathedral-like setting.
"Before there was any media, before there was any buzz about us, before there was a story, there was our fans and it spread organically through them," said Macklemore, whose real name is Ben Haggerty, as he accepted the best new artist award for the duo.
In keeping with the newcomer trend, Kacey Musgraves won best country album with "Same Trailer Different Park."
The 56th Grammy Awards, the music industry's top honors handed out by the Recording Academy across 82 categories, may be remembered more for its performances and unscripted moments than the awards that are bestowed.
With McCartney at the piano and Starr at his drums, the two played a new song, "Queenie Eye," a catchy tune that hearkened back to the Beatles' trademark hits. It was only the fourth time they had performed together on stage since a 2002 concert to honor the late George Harrison. John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, and son Sean Lennon were in the crowd dancing along on Sunday.
Kicking off the three-and-a-half-hour show, Beyonce and rapper husband Jay Z sang "Drunk in Love," her first public performance since her surprise self-titled album in December, a game-changer in the music industry for its stealth release.
ACTS THAT ROCKED THE GRAMMYS
- Their "Sippy Cup" Runneth Over
A scantily-clad, sultry Beyonce opened the Grammy awards by gyrating on a fog-filled set, singing "Drunk in Love" with rapper husband Jay Z, her first public performance since the stealth release of her latest, self-titled album. The song is a follow-up to the couple's 2003 duet on "Crazy in Love."
Later in the show, Jay Z gave a shoutout to the couple's 2-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, while accepting the award for best rap collaboration for "Holy Grail" featuring Justin Timberlake - "I want to tell Blue, look, Daddy got a gold sippy cup for you." Within minutes, the hashtag #GoldSippyCup became a top trending topic on Twitter.
The two surviving members of the Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, joined forces to perform a new song, "Queenie Eye." The catchy rock song hearkened back to the Beatles' trademark hits. The Liverpool band will be honored by the Recording Academy at a special tribute concert on Monday marking the 50th anniversary of their arrival in the United States on "The Ed Sullivan Show."
- Madonna, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Celebrate "Same Love"
Thirty-three couples, both same-sex and heterosexual, were married live on television as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Mary Lambert performed "Same Love," an ode to marriage equality and gay rights. Queen Latifah officiated the mass marriage on a Grammy stage made to resemble a cathedral with giant arches, while Madonna, dressed in a white suit and cowboy hat, came on to sing her hit, "Open Your Heart," before joining Lambert to finish the ceremony.
- Robots "Get Lucky" With Wonder
French electro-music duo Daft Punk performed their second televised performance ever with their hit "Get Lucky," sung by Pharrell Williams and veteran soul singer Stevie Wonder. Daft Punk, dressed in white suits with white helmets, fused "Get Lucky" with 1970s hit song "Le Freak" and Wonder's "Another Star" on a stage resembling a recording studio. The audience was its feet, dancing along to the infectious beats.
Rapper Kendrick Lamar, from Compton, California, and Las Vegas alt-rock group Imagine Dragons fused their musical styles together to perform a mash-up of their singles "M.A.A.D City" and "Radioactive," accompanied by large drums and strobe-lights.
Pink performed aerial acrobatics over the Grammy audience while singing "Try," before jumping on stage to sing "Just Give Me a Reason" with Fun. frontman Nate Ruess.
Hard rock group Metallica stormed the Grammy stage with Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang, performing a rousing rendition of the band's single, "One." Lang Lang later showcased his classical talents by performing Tchaikovsky's "Piano Concerto No. 1" to lead the Grammys' tribute to late pianist Van Cliburn.
French DJ duo Daft Punk, teenager Lorde take top Grammys
Electronic music DJs Daft Punk and New Zealand teen Lorde take home the top Grammy awards in a night that rewarded robots and newcomers, and recognized marriage equality.