CBS broadcasted the 56th Annual Grammy Awards on Jan. 26 live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Daft Punk, a French electronic music featuring robotic personas created by Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, won big, earning victories in the Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Dance/Electronica Album categories.
Pharrell Williams, featured on the Daft Punk record “Get Lucky”, also won four Grammys along with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Jay-Z had received the most nominations with nine, but only won two for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and Best Music Video, both with Justin Timberlake.
Although Daft Punk performed earlier in the evening, some viewers questioned whether or not they were the ones to accept the awards. In the interest of privacy, the duo has sent hired individuals to don the robot costumes and stand in their place at past engagements. Daft Punk has neither confirmed nor denied if they were on stage to accept their Grammy Awards.
Even if one famous duo of musicians may not have taken the stage, there is no doubt that the duo of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr of The Beatles reunited on stage to play “Queenie Eye” from McCartney’s newest album, “New.”
The 56th Grammy Awards also saw a popular band win its first Grammy when Led Zeppelin won Best Rock Album for “Celebration Day.” Although the band was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 and has had multiple songs and albums inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, Best Rock Album was their first traditional Grammy Award.
Perhaps the most notable occurrence at the award show was the performance by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Mary Lambert and Madonna that featured Queen Latifah marrying 33 couples of varying sexualities and ethnicities.
“They should be celebrating tonight,” said Latifah in an interview with The Los Angeles Times. “Looking into their eyes – this is a real moment for them – and I’m happy to be here.”
However, CBS did not show any of the same sex newlyweds kissing, instead choosing to cut away to the performers on stage.
The event saw more controversy during the “in memoriam” tribute portion of the show when “Glee” actor Cory Monteith’s name was misspelled and radio DJ Kidd Kraddick, Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr and Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman were left out altogether.
The end of the broadcast was also plagued with controversy when the finale performance by Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age was cut short to roll the production credits for the event. Nine Inch Nails founding member Trent Reznor took to Twitter to vent his frustration, referring to the Grammy’s as “music’s biggest night… to be disrespected.” Grammy executive producer Ken Ehrlich later apologized to Reznor in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.