While Daft Punk and Lorde led the pack Sunday, 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.
“And I want to say, we made this album without a record label, we made it independently, and we appreciate all the support,” said Macklemore, whose real name is Ben Haggerty, as he accepted the best new artist award for the duo.
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. This is the one thing that I did not expect the most about tonight, so thank you so much, I think mostly, to Bruno, to Sarah, to Katy, to Justin, I have been so inspired by all of your vocal work at some point in my life, so thank you…. Thank you so much,” Lorde told the audience.
In keeping with the newcomer trend, Kacey Musgraves won best country album with “Same Trailer Different Park.”
Bruno Mars, set to perform at next Sunday’s Super Bowl, won one Grammy, for best pop vocal album, for “Unorthodox Jukebox.”
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.