On Sunday, Jan. 26 the 56th annual Grammy Award Ceremony took place at the Los Angeles Staples Center. The awards were presented by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to honor achievements in several facets of the music industry. Hosted by rapper/ actor LL Cool J, the ceremony involved not only awards but also musical performances from some of the most popular artists of the year. This year performances included 2013 pop favorite, Lorde, Katy Perry and Robin Thicke.
The night was full of many surprises beginning with the opening performance. Pop singer Beyoncé and her husband rapper Jay- Z performed their duet “Drunk in Love” from Beyoncé’s recently released self-titled album. Though the eligibility period for this year’s awards (Oct. 1, 2012 to Sept. 30, 2013) excludes Beyoncé’s album it sets a high standard for next year’s awards. Another surprise of the night happened during rapper Mary Lambert and Macklemore’s performance of his 2013 hit “Same Love” in which several couples of various demographics were wed in the audience. The marriages were presided by rapper/ actress Queen Latifah and ended with Madonna performing “Open Your Heart.”
Surprise winners at this year’s ceremony included Ryan Lewis and Macklemore’s (Thrift Shop, Can’t Hold Us, Same Love) win for best new artist beating out Lorde and Kendrick Lamar and best R&B album to Alicia Keys for her album “Girl On Fire.” Along with surprises, notable performances included Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Star performing “Queenie Eye,” Metallica and Lang Lang performing “One” and Taylor Swift who impressed several music critics with her performance of “All Too Well” from her Red album. Record and album of the year winners Daft Punk’s dynamic performance of “Get Lucky” featured American favorite Stevie Wonder, guitarist Nile Rodgers and crooner Pharrell Williams. The performance incorporated several songs including Rodger’s “Le Freak” and Wonder’s “Another Star,” giving the performance a major retro feel.