British soul singer Sam Smith was the big winner at the Grammy Awards on Sunday, taking both record and song of the year, while rocker Beck robbed him of a sweep by winning album of the year at the music industry’s biggest night.
The 22-year-old newcomer Smith won two of the top Grammy awards for his heartbreak single “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version),” and was anointed best new artist. His debut album “In The Lonely Hour” won best pop vocal album.
Backstage at the awards show, Smith was overwhelmed as he clutched his four Grammys.
“Thank you so much, I feel like Kate Winslet at the Oscars right now, I’ve never done one of these, it’s amazing. I don’t know how to react right now, this is absolutely incredible, it’s a dream come true, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.”
Smith’s win echoes that of fellow British soul singer Adele, who swept the Grammys with six wins in 2012 with her heartbreak album “21” and song “Someone Like You,” also about a failed relationship.
“To be compared to the biggest singer in the world is the most amazing thing,” said Smith. “I think we’re very different, well, first of all, I’m a guy, but the thing that I’d like to take from it is that the similarities are our honesty in music, and it’s a shame that there’s only a few people doing that in the industry, but it’s amazing to be compared to her.”
Smith said he and the man that caused his heartbreak and inspired his album are still friends. Despite the pain, however, romance was still on the singer’s mind. When asked if anything could top his Grammy win, Smith replied, “A boyfriend would be nice.”
Beck pulled off a surprise in the album of the year category, as his “Morning Phase” record beat out Smith, Pharrell Williams, Beyonce and Ed Sheeran. The record won three Grammys on the night, including best rock album.
This is the Beck won that award face?!?!?! pic.twitter.com/zKSmbK9awm
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) February 9, 2015
Other notable winners of the night were Pharrell and Beyonce, who won three Grammys each, as well as Miranda Lambert, who won best country album for “Platinum.”
Click here for a full list of winners.
The Grammy awards, music’s biggest night, is as much about the lively performances and often rare collaborations between big names as it is about the awards handed out across 82 categories.
The evening opened with a medley of songs by Australian hard rockers AC/DC.
Numerous artists opted to strip down their performances to showcase their music.
Known to be a stage where veterans and current music stars come together, British singers Jessie J and Tom Jones sang The Righteous Brothers’ classic 1964 song “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” and Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga channeled New York-style romance with their jazz tune “Cheek to Cheek.”
Pharrell Performed an eclectic rendition of “Happy” on the Grammys stage, teaming up with film composer Hans Zimmer to channel a “Grand Budapest Hotel” vibe dressed as a bellhop and accompanied by pianist Lang Lang and gospel singers.
Australian singer-songwriter Sia recreated her “Chandelier” video with comedienne Kristen Wiig and teen dancer Maddie Ziegler in a contemporary dance-off on a set designed like a decrepit apartment.
kristen wiig is an amazing dancer
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) February 9, 2015
Madonna delivered an energetic performance of “Living For Love,” accompanied by male dancers in elaborate horned face masks and singers dressed in mariachi costumes. She ended the high-octane set by being suspended above stage in a harness.
Katy Perry sang her inspirational survival anthem “By the Grace of God,” dressed in a simple white caped dress as shadows of dancers were projected behind her.
The performance was a study in contrasts with Perry’s vibrant, lively and prop-filled spectacular at the Super Bowl a week ago.
Rihanna joined Kanye West and Paul McCartney against a white stage backdrop to perform the jaunty “FourFiveSeconds,” while No Doubt frontwoman Gwen Stefani and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, both judges on NBC’s “The Voice” singing competition, teamed up for a heartfelt rendition of “My Heart is Open.”
— Rihanna Daily (@RihannaDaily) February 9, 2015
The night ended on civil rights with Beyonce and gospel singers belting out a rendition of the hymn “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” before artists Common and John Legend took the stage to perform their Oscar-nominated “Glory,” from the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic “Selma.”