The 56th Annual Grammy Awards: Highlights And Winners

By January 27, 2014

The 56th Annual Grammy Awards happened Sunday night. If you were distracted by the likes of “True Detective” or “The Royal Rumble,” you may have just missed the LL Cool J-hosted proceedings. There were some Beatles and many interesting musical collaborations. Awards were won, songs were sang. The normally three hour show went 45 minutes over. So, as to not bombard you with a long book report of the play by play, here are the five best highlights of the show:

Beyoncé and Jay-Z – “Drunk in Love”

56th GRAMMY Awards - Show

Beyoncé and Jay-Z opened the 2014 Grammys with a strong, smokey, slightly censored performance of her new single “Drunk in Love.” She used a very lucky chair as a prop and as one would imagine, many parents are now up in arms regarding this performance. Dare I remind you, parents…music is sexy!

Imagine Dragons with Kendrick Lamar – “Radioactive”

I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who believes this performance right here owned the damn show. I had never heard of Imagine Dragons before last night but thanks to this amazing rendition of “Radioactive” with the genius help of Kendrick Lamar, I will now be doing some digging into who this band is. Awesome sauce!

Metallica and Lang Lang – “One”


Holy crap, the night was full of collaborative performances and this one was f*cking awesome! “One” by Metallica has always been one of my favorite tracks by the group. Teaming up with piano player Lang Lang just elevated the track to a whole other level. (Skip to the 35 second mark in the video below, unless you want to hear an overdubbed Jared Leto)

Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers and Stevie Wonder – “Get Lucky”


I don’t think I need to type any description here to make you understand why this made my list. It’s in the title. Just watch the damn video!

Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, Mary Lambert, Trombone Shorty and Madonna – “Same Love”


If there was one performance from the night that tugged at the heart strings while also sending a powerful message, it was the performance of “Same Love” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Joined on the stage by Mary Lambert, Trombone Shorty (who ends the performance in a mini second line), and Madonna, “Same Love” was performed while couples (gay and straight) joined in the aisles to confirm their love for each other. I absolutely loved this performance. Check it!

I want to also go on the record by stating I tuned into The 56th Grammys last night to watch the quasi-reunion of The Highwayme,n only to find that both Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson should probably retire. Merle Haggard, on the other hand, should never stop. He saved this performance.

I was also stoked to see Nine Inch Nails perform as they were scheduled to close out the show with Dave Grohl, Queens Of The Stone Age and Lindsey Buckingham. Sounds amazing, right? Well, my DVR disagreed and cut the show off before we could even get there! I was upset until I found out this morning that CBS cut the performance halfway through to end the show due to the duration of the show. F*ckin’ CBS!

Because I’m resourceful, I found the performance online and sure enough, halfway through the second song, ads started to role that were soon followed by credits. Sure, I’m happy Nine Inch Nails at least got to perform “Copy Of A” but QOTSA also deserves some respect. Cheap move, CBS.

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And just to make sure I cover all the bases, here is the complete list of winners:

  • Album of the year: “Random Access Memories,” Daft Punk.
  • Record of the year: “Get Lucky,” Daft Punk with Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers.
  • Song of the year: “Royals,” Lorde.
  • New artist: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
  • Pop solo performance: “Royals,” Lorde.
  • Pop vocal album: “Unorthodox Jukebox,” Bruno Mars
  • Pop/duo group performance: “Get Lucky,” Daft Punk with Pharrell and Nile Rodgers.
  • Rap/sung collaboration: “Holy Grail,” Jay Z with Justin Timberlake.
  • Rock song: “Cut Me Some Slack,” Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear.
  • Country album: “Same Trailer Different Park,” Kacey Musgraves.
  • Traditional pop vocal album: “To Be Loved,” Michael Buble.
  • Rap performance: “Thrift Shop,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz.
  • Rap song: “Thrift Shop,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz.
  • Rap album: “The Heist,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
  • R&B performance: “Something,” Snarky Puppy with Lalah Hathaway.
  • Traditional R&B performance: “Please Come Home,” Gary Clark Jr.
  • R&B song: “Pusher Love Girl,” James Fauntleroy, Jerome Harmon, Timothy Mosley and Justin Timberlake.
  • R&B album: “Girl on Fire,” Alicia Keys.
  • Urban contemporary album: “Unapologetic,” Rihanna.
  • Rock performance: “Radioactive,” Imagine Dragons.
  • Rock album: “Celebration Day,” Led Zeppelin.
  • Hard rock/metal performance: “God is Dead,” Black Sabbath.
  • Alternative music album: “Modern Vampires of the City,” Vampire Weekend.
  • Dance recording: “Clarity,” Zedd featuring Foxes.
  • Dance/electronica album: “Random Access Memories,” Daft Punk.
  • Producer of the year, non-classical: Pharrell Williams.
  • Latin pop album: “Vida,” Draco Rosa
  • Latin rock, urban or alternative album: “Treinta Dias,” La Santa Cecilia.
  • Latin jazz album: “Song for Maura,” Paquito D’Rivera and Trio Corrente.
  • Tropical Latin album: “Pacific Mambo Orchestra,” Pacific Mambo Orchestra.
  • Country solo performance: “Wagon Wheel,” Darius Rucker.
  • Country duo/group performance: “From This Valley,” The Civil Wars.
  • Country song: “Merry Go ‘Round,” Kacey Musgraves, Shane McAnally and Josh Osbourne.
  • Gospel song: “If He Did It Before … Same God (Live),” Tye Tribbett
  • Gospel album: “Greater Than (Live),” Tye Tribbettlatin
  • Blues album: “Get Up!,” Ben Harper with Charlie Musselwhite.
  • Folk album: “My Favorite Picture of You,” Guy Clark.
  • Americana album: “Old Yellow Moon,” Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell.
  • Bluegrass album: “The Streets of Baltimore,” Del McCoury Band.
  • Reggae album: “Ziggy Marley in Concert,” Ziggy Marley.
  • World music album: “Live: Singing for Peace Around the World,” Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and “Savor Flamenco,” Gypsy Kings (tie).
  • Children’s album: “Throw a Penny in the Wishing Well,” Jennifer Gasoi.
  • Spoken word album: “America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t,” Stephen Colbert.
  • Comedy album: “Calm Down Gurrl,” Kathy Griffin.
  • New age album: “Love’s River,” Laura Sullivan.
  • Jazz vocal album: “Liquid Spirit,” Gregory Porter.
  • Jazz instrumental album: “Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue,” Terri Lyne Carrington.
  • Large jazz ensemble album: “Night in Calisia,” Randy Brecker, Wlodek Pawlik Trio and Kalisz Philharmonic.
  • Pop instrumental album: “Steppin’ Out,” Herb Alpert.
  • Compilation soundtrack album: “Sound City: Real to Reel,” Dave Grohl and various artists, Butch Vig.
  • Score soundtrack album: “Skyfall,” Thomas Newman, composer.
  • Song written for visual media: “Skyfall,” Adele and Paul Epworth.
  • Musical theater album: “Kinky Boots,” Cyndi Lauper, Billy Porter, Stark Sands, Sammy James Jr., Stephen Oremus and William Wittman.
  • Producer of the year, classical: David Frost.
  • Instrumental composition: “Pensamientos for Solo Alto Saxophone and Chamber Orechestra,” Clare Fischer.
  • Orchestral performance: “Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4,” Osmo Vanska, conductor.
  • Opera recording: “Ades: The Tempest,” Thomas Ades, Simon Keenlyside, Isabel Leonard, Audrey Luna, Alan Oke, Jay David Saks.
  • Choral performance: “Part: Adam’s Lament,” Tonu Kaljuste, conductor.
  • Short-form music video: “Suit & Tie,” Justin Timberlake featuring Jay Z, David Fincher, Timory King.
  • Long-form music video: “Live Kisses,” Paul McCartney, Jonas Akerlund, Violaine Etienne, Aron Levin and Scott Rodger.
  • Historical album: “The Complete Sussex and Columbia Albums” of Bill Withers, Leo Sacks, Joseph M. Palmaccio, Tom Ruff and Mark Wilder, and “Charlie is My Darling,” Teri Landi, Andrew Loog Oldham, Steve Rosenthal and Bob Ludwig.

So tell me – did you watch the show? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments below!

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Aside from throwing words onto your screen here, he has written for the likes of FEARnet, Examiner, Dread Central and MTV Movies Blog. And yes, he was Percy on VR Troopers.