The big winners at the 56th annual Grammy awards on Sunday night turned out to be couples as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Daft Punk took home four awards apiece and a few dozen people were married on stage.
Daft Punk won record of the year for the hit “Get Lucky” and album of the year for “Random Access Memories”. “Random Access Memories,” in fact, is the first pure dance record to win album of the year since the soundtrack to “Saturday Night Fever” took top honors at the 1979 ceremony, says the LA Times.
The Daft duo was typically silent, but singer-songwriter Paul Williams accepted the album of the year award with a generous speech. Williams, who’s written such songs as “We’ve Only Just Begun” and “Evergreen,” had struggled to overcome substance abuse problems over the years. “Then I get sober and two robots asked me to make an album,” he said.
Pharrell Williams, who also took the Producer of the Year prize, spoke for “the robots,” referencing their actual country of origin. “I bet France is really proud of these guys right now,” Williams said.
The Grammys also often manage to single out rising artists, and this year that meant Lorde, Kacey Musgraves and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis won best new artist and received three awards in the rap field before the show began with best rap album for “The Heist” and best rap performance and best rap song for “Thrift Shop.”
During their performance of “Same Love”, 33 couples were married on stage. Queen Latifah officiated the ceremony and Madonna joined the musical performance, while wearing an all-white pantsuit and cowboy hat. Lewis revealed his sister and her partner were among the couples who got married during the ceremony.
“You never think you are going to win a Grammy,” he said. “It is that thing that is so distant, it’s the pinnacle, it’s the apex, to be able to celebrate same love. My sister getting married tonight was so personal, I still have chills now.”
Lorde took the night’s other biggest award, Song of the Year, for her anti-bling anthem “Royals.” The 17 year old also took Best Pop Solo Performance.
“Thank you to everyone who has let the song explode,” she said, also paying tribute to co-writer Joel Little.
Some of pop’s starriest female performers got to model some gold as well. Alicia Keys snapped up Best R&B Album for “Girl on Fire,” while Rihanna got the Urban Contemporary Album nod.
Beyonce kicked off the Grammys with a steamy and smoky performance of “Drunk In Love:” She started on a chair and then grinded in a revealing black outfit. Jay Z emerged in a fitted suit to rap his verse, and the couple – parents of little Blue Ivy – held hands and danced together.
Actually, Jay Z, who led all artists with nine nominations, did win best rap/sung collaboration for “Holy Grail,” a collaboration with Justin Timberlake. Addressing his daughter Blue, Jay Z said, “Daddy just got a gold sippy cup for you.”
The two surviving Beatles — Paul McCartney and Ringo — had a major presence at Sunday’s show, all to celebrate the impending 50th anniversary of the Fab Four’s arrival in America. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr received a Lifetime Achievement Award for their work with the Beatles. Starr did his “Photograph” with musicians including Peter Frampton and Kenny Aronoff, and McCartney did his new song “Queenie Eye” with a group that included Starr, says the NY Daily News.