By: Matthew von Lukawiecki
More heated than the Super Bowl and more prestigious than the Nobel Prize – the annual Grammy Awards provides a monument to a year’s worth of music. This award presentation has been around since the late 1950s and has been a career goal for musicians across all genres since its conception. It is formally a prize that is given by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for outstanding achievements in the music industry The Grammy Awards is the equivalent of the Emmy’s for T.V., the Tony’s for theatre and the Academy Awards for films.
Although the list of nominees and winners is highly impressive, the spectacle of the ceremony takes centre stage. The show this year included performances by Beyoncé and Jay Z, as well as Madonna joining with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis to perform the song “Same Love”. This performance occurred while Queen Latifah (who is apparently qualified to officiate legal marriage) presided over 34 official marriage ceremonies. Although technical issues prevented everyone from being able to witness the event, these marriages took a concrete stand of advocation for the equality of marriage and sexuality.
During the televised ceremony only ten of the total awards were given. The rest of the awards were given before the show itself. The awards given during the show included the award for best new artist, which went to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis; the award for best pop group performance went to Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers for the song “Get Lucky”; the award for best rock song went to “Cut Me Some Slack” by Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear; the award for best rap/sing collaboration went to Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake for the song “Holy Grail”; the award for best pop vocal album went to Bruno Mars for the album, Unorthodox Jukebox; and the award for best country album went to Kacey Musgraves for Same Trailer Different Park. In addition to this, Daft Punk’s album, Random Access Memories won as album of the year with “Get Lucky” also winning as record of the year, and “Royals” by Lorde won both best pop solo performance and song of the year.
In addition to these it may be worth mentioning that the majority of the awards were presented before the ceremony itself. However, there are dozens of awards that were handed out due to the vast nature of the industry. A few worth mention though are best rock performance which went to “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons, best song written for a visual medium, which went to “Skyfall” by Adele, best rap song which went to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis for “Thrift Shop”, best R&B album went to “Girl On Fire” by Alicia Keys, best metal performance went to “God Is Dead?” by the reunited Black Sabbath, and best rock album went to Celebration Day by Led Zeppelin.
Although only a fraction of the awards are listed here the skill and ability of the artists recognized is clear through the Academy’s choice of winners. Hopefully the winners will continue to astound us with their hard work and talent in the years to come.