Grammy ceremony dazzles with genre-bending duets, upsets

Pharrell Williams bowing to his collaborators Niles Rodgers and Daft Punk after taking home both Record and Album of the Year. Williams’ unorthodox headgear also made waves on Twitter and inspired many parodies.  (Photo provided by grammy.com)
Pharrell Williams bowing to his collaborators Niles Rodgers and Daft Punk after taking home both Record and Album of the Year. Williams’ unorthodox headgear also made waves on Twitter and inspired many parodies. (Photo provided by grammy.com)

In a nutshell, here’s how the 2014 Grammys played out: Macklemore “robbed” Kendrick Lamar, Daft Punk and Pharrell won big, Katy Perry rode a dark horse, Madonna is still relevant, so is Beyoncé, and Taylor Swift may write another number one hit about leaving the Grammys empty-handed.

Let’s start with the Seattle sensation Macklemore. The Mack -and-Ryan-Lewis attack struck big at the Grammys, taking home four of their seven Grammy nominations at the awards show. The wins included the categories “Best New Artist,” “Best Rap Performance,” “Best Rap Song,” and the category many believe he didn’t deserve, “Best Rap Album.” While Macklemore was proud to win the award, even he felt he wasn’t deserving of it, insisting that Kendrick Lamar      indeed had the better album. The argument may not stop there, as Lamar went zero for seven at the Grammys this year altogether, which once again brings up the claim that the Grammys are losing their edge and prestige. Nonetheless, both Lamar and Macklemore had tremendous years in the rap department, proving that true hip-hop is alive.

Macklemore, along with Queen Latifah and Madonna, and Lamar accompanied by Imagine Dragons, put on some memorable performances at the Grammys, even bringing Taylor Swift to her feet to do some subpar dancing. Other performances included Pink’s “Try,” where she took to the skies in a trapeze performance of her smash hit, before joining Nate Ruess on stage to sing the emotional ballad “Just Give Me a Reason.” Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams joined forces with legendary R&B heavyweights Nile Rodgers and Stevie Wonder to sing a number of Daft Punk’s previous hits. Metallica even showed the Grammys they still know how to rock by breaking out their classic hit “One,” which won them a Grammy back in 1990, with pianist sensation Lang Lang. However, no performance was more memorable than the reunion of former Beatles Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney on the Grammy stage to perform “Queenie Eye” which was a historical moment to say the least.

One thing that made these Grammys different than in recent years was the flair and recognition of international artists in the major categories, namely Lorde (New Zealand) and Daft Punk (France). Between the three artists, they received eight nominations and brought home six, with Daft Punk going four for four and Lorde going two for four. Daft Punk brought home awards for “Best Electronica/Dance Album,” “Best Pop Duo/Grop Performance” and “Record of the Year” (both with Pharrell Williams) and the big one of “Album of the Year.” Lorde, on the other hand, took home the awards for “Song of the Year” and “Best Pop Solo Performance,” which isn’t to take away from the fact that she was indeed the third youngest artist to win a Grammy from New Zealand, and the youngest artist to be nominated for “Record of the Year”. It’s nice to see that the Grammys are looking at artists on an international level more in recent years, a trend that could be traced back to when Arcade Fire, from Canada, won the Grammy for “Album of the Year” in 2011.