By Mary Milliken and Piya Sinha-Roy
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Two unconventional acts, 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.
PHOTOS: Grammy Awards red carpet
Rodgers praised the French DJ duo for creating their electronic music album using live music recorded on to analog tape, calling it “a labor of love.”
“The fact that they decided to put this much effort into the music and bringing in musicians, they had this incredible vision and they believed they achieved something greater by doing that,” Rodgers said backstage.
Formed in the early 1990s by 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.
TODAY’S MUST SEE: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis throw a mass Grammy wedding
It was impossible to know what the two masked musicians thought about their big win because they choose not to speak as part of their act.
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.
“Thank you to everyone who has let this song explode because it has been mental,” said Lorde, whose real name is Ella Yelich-O’Connor, known for a gothic esthetic that goes against the sexy, scantily clad norm of young pop artists.
HIGH DRAMA AT THE ALTAR
The Recording Academy also anointed Seattle-based rapper-producer newcomers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with the Grammy for best new artist and three other awards in rap categories.
“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.
With their homage to marriage equality, the duo also presided over the biggest dramatic moment of the night, the ceremony in a cathedral-like setting, an initiative that Queen Latifah hoped would be emulated across the rap genre.
“I hope this is inspiration to all the rappers out there and hip hop artists out there that they can continue to tackle any subjects you want,” Queen Latifah, said backstage, before her power to marry in California expires at midnight.
The 56th Grammy Awards, the music industry’s top honors handed out by the Recording Academy across 82 categories, also rewarded a crop of newcomers in several genres.
Kacey Musgraves, 25, won best country album with “Same Trailer Different Park,” while alt-rockers Imagine Dragons won best rock performance for “Radioactive.”
“This last year has kind of just blown up,” said Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds, dusted in the red powder from the band’s high-octane performance with rapper Kendrick Lamar.
BEATLES 50TH ANNIVERSARY
There was also 71-year-old McCartney, who teamed up with former members of grunge rock band Nirvana, including Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, to win best rock song for “Cut Me Some Slack.”
“It was magic for me playing with these guys,” said McCartney, adding “I found myself in the middle of a Nirvana reunion and I was very happy.”
On Monday, the Recording Academy’s “The Night that Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles” will pay homage to the Fab Four’s February 1964 performances on the “Ed Sullivan Show,” which is credited with launching rock music’s so-called British Invasion.
With McCartney at the piano and Starr at his drums on Sunday night – in a surprise reunion – 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 self-titled album in December, a game-changer in the music industry for its stealth release.
The final performance by Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Grohl and Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham hit a sour note as CBS rolled the end credits over the music.
Nine Inch Nails lead Trent Reznor later sent out a tweet with the words “Music’s biggest night … to be disrespected.”
The full list of 2014 Grammy Awards winners is:
Best New Artist – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance – “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers
Best Rock Song – “Cut Me Some Slack” by Dave Grohl, Paul McCartney, Krist Novoselic & Pat Smear
Best Pop Solo Performance – “Royals” by Lorde
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration – “Holy Grail” by Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake
Best Pop Vocal Album – “Unorthodox Jukebox” by Bruno Mars
Best Country Album – “Same Trailer Different Park” by Kacey Musgraves
Song Of The Year – “Royals” (Lorde) by Joel Little & Ella Yelich O’Connor
Record Of The Year – “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers
Album Of The Year – “Random Access Memories” by Daft Punk
Best Pop Instrumental Album – “Steppin’ Out” by Herb Alpert
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album – “To Be Loved” by Michael Buble
Best Reggae Album – “Ziggy Marley In Concert” by Ziggy Marley
Best World Music Album – “Savor Flamenco” by Gipsy Kings and “Live: Singing For Peace Around the World” by Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Best Children’s Album – “Throw A Penny In The Wishing Well” by Jennifer Gasoi
Best Spoken Word Album – “America Again: Re-becoming The Greatness We Never Weren’t” by Stephen Colbert
Best Instrumental Composition – “Pensamientos for Solo Alto Saxophone And Chamber Orchestra” by Clare Fischer
Best Instrumental Arrangement – “On Green Dolphin Street” by Gordon Goodwin
Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) – “Swing Low” by Gil Goldstein
Best Recording Package – “Long Night Moon/Reckles”s Kelly (Sarah Dodds & Shauna Dodds)
Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package – “Wings Over America (Deluxe Edition)” by Simon Earith & James Musgrave
Best Album Notes – “Afro Blue Impressions (Remastered & Expanded)” by Neil Tesser (John Coltrane)
Best Historical Album – “Charlie Is My Darling Ireland” 1965/Rolling Stones (Teri Landi, Andrew Loog Oldham & Steve Rosenthal) and “The Complete Sussex And Columbia Albums/Bill Withers” (Leo Sacks, Joseph M. Palmaccio, Tom Ruff & Mark Wilder)
Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical – “Random Access Memories/Daft Punk” (Peter Franco, Mick Guzauski, Florian Lagatta, Daniel Lerner, Antoine Chabert & Bob Ludwig)
Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical – “Summertime Sadness” (Cedric Gervais Remix)/Lana Del Rey (Cedric Gervais)
Best Surround Sound Album – “Live Kisses/Paul McCartney” (Al Schmitt & Tommy LiPuma)
Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance – “Break Every Chain” Live by Tasha Cobbs
Best Gospel Song – “If He Did It Before… Same God Live” by Tye Tribbett
Best Contemporary Christian Music Song – “Overcomer/Mandisa” (David Garcia, Ben Glover & Christopher Stevens)
Best Gospel Album – “Greater Than (Live)” by Tye Tribbett
Best Contemporary Christian Music Album – “Overcomer” by Mandisa
Best Latin Pop Album – “Vida” by Draco Rosa
Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album – “Treinta Dias” by La Santa Cecilia
Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano) – “A Mi Manera by Mariachi Divas” De Cindy Shea
Best Tropical Latin Album – “Pacific Mambo Orchestra” by Pacific Mambo Orchestra
Best Engineered Album, Classical – “Winter Morning Walks/Dawn Upshaw,” Maria Schneider, Australian Chamber Orchestra & St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (David Frost, Brian Losch & Tim Martyn)
Producer Of The Year, Classical – David Frost
Best Orchestral Performance – “Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4/Osmo Vanska,” conductor (Minnesota Orchestra)
Best Opera Recording – “Ades: The Tempest/Thomas Ades,” conductor; Simon Keenlyside, Isabel Leonard, Audrey Luna & Alan Oke; Jay David Saks, producer (The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra & The Metropolitan Opera Chorus)
Best Choral Performance – Part: “Adam’s Lament/Tonu Kaljuste,” conductor (Tui Hirv & Rainer Vilu; Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir; Sinfonietta Riga & Tallinn Chamber Orchestra; Latvian Radio Choir & Vox Clamantis)
Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance – “Roomful Of Teeth” by Brad Wells & Roomful Of Teeth
Best Classical Instrumental Solo – “Corigliano: Conjurer – Concerto For Percussionist & String Orchestra” Evelyn Glennie; David Alan Miller, conductor (Albany Symphony)
Best Classical Vocal Solo – “Winter Morning Walks by Dawn Upshaw” (Maria Schneider; Jay Anderson, Frank Kimbrough & Scott Robinson; Australian Chamber Orchestra & St. Paul Chamber Orchestra)
Best Classical Compendium – Hindemith: Violinkonzert; Symphonic Metamorphosis; Konzertmusik; Christoph Eschenbach, conductor
Best Contemporary Classical Composition – “Winter Morning Walks” by Maria Schneider, composer (Dawn Upshaw, Jay Anderson, Frank Kimbrough, Scott Robinson & Australian Chamber Orchestra)
Best New Age Album – “Love’s River” by Laura Sullivan
Best Improvised Jazz Solo – “Orbits” by Wayne Shorter
Best Jazz Vocal Album -” Liquid Spirit” by Gregory Porter
Best Jazz Instrumental Album – “Money Jungle: Provocative In Blue” by Terri Lyne Carrington
Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album – “Night In Calisia” by Randy Brecker, Wlodek Pawlik Trio & Kalisz Philharmonic
Best Latin Jazz Album – “Song For Maura” by Paquito D’Rivera And Trio Corrente
Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media – “Sound City: Real To Reel” (Butch Vig, compilation producer)
Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media – “Skyfall” by Thomas Newman
Best Song Written For Visual Media – “Skyfall” by Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth
Best Musical Theater Album – “Kinky Boots” (Billy Porter & Stark Sands, principal soloists; Sammy James Jr., Cyndi Lauper, Stephen Oremus & William Wittman, producers; Cyndi Lauper, composer & lyricist)
Best American Roots Song – “Love Has Come For You” by Edie Brickell & Steve Martin
Best Americana Album – “Old Yellow Moon” by Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell
Best Bluegrass Album – “The Streets Of Baltimore” by Del McCoury Band
Best Folk Album – “My Favorite Picture Of You” by Guy Clark
Best Regional Roots Music Album – “Dockside Sessions” by Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience
Best Dance Recording – “Clarity” by Zedd faturing Foxes
Best Dance/Electronica Album – “Random Access Memories” by Daft Punk
Best Comedy Album – “Calm Down Gurrl” by Kathy Griffin
Best Rap Performance – “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz
Best Rap Song – “Thrift Shop” by Ben Haggerty (Macklemore) & Ryan Lewis
Best Rap Album – “The Heist” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Best R&B Performance – “Something” by Snarky Puppy With Lalah Hathaway
Best Traditional R&B Performance – “Please Come Home” by Gary Clark Jr.
Best R&B Song – “Pusher Love Girl” by James Fauntleroy, Jerome Harmon, Timothy Mosley & Justin Timberlake
Best Urban Contemporary Album – “Unapologetic” by Rihanna
Best R&B Album – “Girl On Fire” by Alicia Keys
Best Blues Album – “Get Up!” by Ben Harper with Charlie Musselwhite
Best Music Video – “Suit & Tie,” Justin Timberlake featuring Jay Z (David Fincher, video director)
Best Music Film – “Live Kisses,” Paul McCartney (Jonas Akerlund, video director)
Best Country Solo Performance – “Wagon Wheel” by Darius Rucker
Best Country Duo/Group Performance – “From This Valley” by The Civil Wars
Best Country Song – “Merry Go ‘Round” by Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves & Josh Osborne
Best Metal Performance – “God Is Dead?” by Black Sabbath
Best Rock Album – “Celebration Day” by Led Zeppelin
Best Rock Performance – “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons
Best Alternative Music Album – “Modern Vampires Of The City” by Vampire Weekend
Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical – Pharrell Williams
Recording Academy Honorees – Rick Hall, Jim Marshall & Ennio Morricone
President’s Merit Award – Lucian Grange
Lifetime Achievement Awards – Beatles, Clifton Chenier, The Isley Brothers, Kraftwerk, Kris Kristofferson, Armando Manzanero & Maud Powell
(Additional reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Sandra Maler)