Los Angeles (AFP) – French electro duo Daft Punk won big at the Grammys and rappers Macklemore and Ryan Lewis honored same-sex marriage as they were named best new artist at music’s version of the Oscars.
The helmeted Daft Punk — who took home four major trophies including the coveted best album and best record prizes — got music’s A-listers dancing in the front row at the 56th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, performing their catchy hit “Get Lucky.”
New Zealand teen songstress Lorde won the other major prize of the night, best song for her mega-hit “Royals.”
Macklemore and Lewis staged the evening’s most powerful moment, when 33 couples were married in a mass wedding as the Seattle pair performed “Same Love,” a rap defense of gay rights.
Daft Punk praised the mass wedding of gay and heterosexual couples as “fantastic” in a message read by their songwriter, Paul Williams, who shared the best album Grammy for “Random Access Memories.”
“What they wanted me to say is that as elegant and as classy as the Grammy has ever been, is the moment when we… saw all those wonderful marriages and that same love,” he said, to thunderous applause.
After Daft Punk’s five awards, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis won four. Pharrell Williams took home four as well, including producer of the year.
Justin Timberlake won three awards including best music video, on which Jay-Z shared a credit, but Taylor Swift went home empty-handed.
Other winners included Paul McCartney, who played a new song with a band including fellow ex-Beatle Ringo Starr on drums, while John Lennon and George Harrison’s widows also joined the show, in a rare Fab Four family reunion.
The first major award of the night went to Macklemore & Lewis for best new artist, while their debut album “The Heist” won best rap album. They also won for best rap song and best rap performance for “Thrift Shop.”
“First and foremost I want to thank our fans, the people that got us on this stage. Before there was any media, before there was any buzz about us, before there was a story, there was our fans,” said Macklemore.
Along with the prestigious best album and best record Grammys, Daft Punk won best dance/electronica album for “Random Access Memories,” best pop duo/group performance for “Get Lucky,” and best engineered non-classical album.
The Grammys show, music’s biggest night, kicked off with a sultry performance of “Drunk in Love” by the first couple of hip-hop, Beyonce and Jay-Z.
Lorde was next up with “Royals,” the song of the year, while she also took home the statue for best pop solo performance.
“Thank you everyone who has let this song explode. Because it’s been mental,” the 17-year-old said.
Swift gave an energetic rendition of “All Too Well.” Rockers Imagine Dragons collaborated with Kendrick Lamar on a spirited mash-up of their hits “Radioactive” and “m.A.A.d city.”
The show featured other eye-popping collaborations, including the unlikely pairing of rockers Metallica with acclaimed Chinese pianist Lang Lang.
Other performers included a who’s who of music’s finest, ranging from Katy Perry and Robin Thicke to veterans Carole King — who played a duet with Sara Bareilles — and Madonna, who joined the “Same Love” mass wedding performance.
British songstress Adele, who swept the Grammys top prizes in 2012, shared a prize Sunday, for best song written for visual media for 007 movie “Skyfall,” with songwriter Paul Epworth.
Led Zeppelin won best rock album for “Celebration Day,” recorded at their 2007 live reunion show at London’s O2 Arena, in the pre-telecast section of the show, while the Gipsy Kings and South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo shared the world music Grammy.
The three-and-a-half-hour show at the Staples Center ended with a rock supergroup featuring Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl and Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham.
But the mass wedding left the biggest buzz, as artists and music fans headed off into the late LA night.
“We’re very proud of what happened tonight,” Recording Academy head Neil Portnow told reporters. “I think it’s as elegant and meaningful and powerful as we wanted it to be.”
AFP Photo/Robyn Beck