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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.
- Album of the Year: Daft Punk, 'Random Access Memories'
- Record of the Year: Daft Punk feat. Pharrell, 'Get Lucky'
- Song of the Year: Lorde, 'Royals'
- Best New Artist: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
- Best Pop Vocal Album: Bruno Mars, 'Unorthodox Jukebox'
- Best Pop Solo Performance: Lorde, 'Royals'
- Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: Daft Punk feat. Pharrell, 'Get Lucky'
- Best Rock Song: Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear, 'Cut
Me Some Slack'
- Best Rock Performance: Imagine Dragons, 'Radioactive'
- Best Country Album: Kacey Musgraves, 'Same Trailer Different Park'
- Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: Jay Z feat. Justin Timberlake, 'Holy Grail'
- Best Metal Performance: Black Sabbath, 'God Is Dead?'
- Best Alternative Music Album: Vampire Weekend, 'Modern Vampires of the City'
- Best Dance/Electronica Album: Daft Punk, 'Random Access Memories'
- Best R&B Performance: Snarky Puppy with Lalah Hathaway, 'Something'
- Best R&B Album: Alicia Keys, 'Girl on Fire'
- R&B song: ‘Pusher Love Girl,’ James Fauntleroy, Jerome Harmon, Timothy Mosley and Justin Timberlake
- Best Rap Performance: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz, 'Thrift Shop'
- Best Rap Album: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, 'The Heist'
- Best Rap Song: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, 'Thrift Shop'
- Best Dance Recording: Zedd feat. Foxes, 'Clarity'
- Best Country Solo Performance: Darius Rucker, 'Wagon Wheel'
- Traditional pop vocal album: ‘To Be Loved,’ Michael Buble.
- R&B performance: ‘Something,’ Snarky Puppy with Lalah Hathaway.
- Traditional R&B performance: ‘Please Come Home,’ Gary Clark Jr.
- Urban contemporary album: ‘Unapologetic,’ Rihanna.
- Rock performance: ‘Radioactive,’ Imagine Dragons.
- Rock album: ‘Celebration Day,’ Led Zeppelin.
- Hard rock/metal performance: ‘God is Dead,’ Black Sabbath.
- Alternative music album: ‘Modern Vampires of the City,’ Vampire Weekend.
- Dance recording: ‘Clarity,’ Zedd featuring Foxes.
- Dance/electronica album: ‘Random Access Memories,’ Daft Punk.
- Producer of the year, non-classical: Pharrell Williams.
- Latin pop album: ‘Vida,’ Draco Rosa
- Latin rock, urban or alternative album: ‘Treinta Dias,’ La Santa Cecilia.
- Latin jazz album: ‘Song for Maura,’ Paquito D'Rivera and Trio Corrente.
- Tropical Latin album: ‘Pacific Mambo Orchestra,’ Pacific Mambo Orchestra.
- Country solo performance: ‘Wagon Wheel,’ Darius Rucker.
- Country duo/group performance: ‘From This Valley,’ The Civil Wars.
- Country song: ‘Merry Go 'Round,’ Kacey Musgraves, Shane McAnally and Josh Osbourne.
- Gospel song: ‘If He Did It Before ... Same God (Live),’ Tye Tribbett
- Gospel album: ‘Greater Than (Live),’ Tye Tribbettlatin
- Blues album: ‘Get Up!,’ Ben Harper with Charlie Musselwhite.
- Folk album: ‘My Favorite Picture of You,’ Guy Clark.
- Americana album: ‘Old Yellow Moon,’ Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell.
- Bluegrass album: ‘The Streets of Baltimore,’ Del McCoury Band.
- Reggae album: ‘Ziggy Marley in Concert,’ Ziggy Marley.
- World music album: ‘Live: Singing for Peace Around the World,’ Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and ‘Savor Flamenco,’ Gypsy Kings (tie).
- Children's album: ‘Throw a Penny in the Wishing Well,’ Jennifer Gasoi.
- Spoken word album: ‘America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't,’ Stephen Colbert.
- Comedy album: ‘Calm Down Gurrl,’ Kathy Griffin.
- New age album: ‘Love's River,’ Laura Sullivan.
- Jazz vocal album: ‘Liquid Spirit,’ Gregory Porter.
- Jazz instrumental album: ‘Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue,’ Terri Lyne Carrington.
- Large jazz ensemble album: ‘Night in Calisia,’ Randy Brecker, Wlodek Pawlik Trio and Kalisz Philharmonic.
- Pop instrumental album: ‘Steppin' Out,’ Herb Alpert.
- Compilation soundtrack album: ‘Sound City: Real to Reel,’ Dave Grohl and various artists, Butch Vig.
- Score soundtrack album: ‘Skyfall,’ Thomas Newman, composer.
- Song written for visual media: ‘Skyfall,’ Adele and Paul Epworth.
- Musical theater album: ‘Kinky Boots,’ Cyndi Lauper, Billy Porter, Stark Sands, Sammy James Jr., Stephen Oremus and William Wittman.
- Producer of the year, classical: David Frost.
- Instrumental composition: ‘Pensamientos for Solo Alto Saxophone and Chamber Orechestra,’ Clare Fischer.
- Orchestral performance: ‘Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4,’ Osmo Vanska, conductor.
- Opera recording: ‘Ades: The Tempest,’ Thomas Ades, Simon Keenlyside, Isabel Leonard, Audrey Luna, Alan Oke, Jay David Saks.
- Choral performance: ‘Part: Adam's Lament,’ Tonu Kaljuste, conductor.
- Short-form music video: ‘Suit & Tie,’ Justin Timberlake featuring Jay Z, David Fincher, Timory King.
- Long-form music video: ‘Live Kisses,’ Paul McCartney, Jonas Akerlund, Violaine Etienne, Aron Levin and Scott Rodger.
- Historical album: ‘The Complete Sussex and Columbia Albums’ of Bill Withers, Leo Sacks, Joseph M. Palmaccio, Tom Ruff and Mark Wilder, and ‘Charlie is My Darling,’ Teri Landi, Andrew Loog Oldham, Steve Rosenthal and Bob Ludwig. - Sapa-AFP and Sapa-AP