Thursday, October 23, 2014

Daft Punk leads with five Grammys

LOS ANGELES—The 56th Grammy Awards gala was defined by breakthroughs, with critically-beloved French dance duo Daft Punk gilding its transition to the mainstream with a leading five awards, including album and record of the year.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis made off with the rap categories while teenaged songwriter Lorde enjoyed a coronation of her own.

In what was widely considered an impossible race to predict, Daft Punk—the duo of 39-year-olds Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo—walked off with the night’s top prize for their influential “Random Access Memories,” a cross-over hit that found the masters of elegantly-textured electronic music embracing live instrumentation and a retro esthetic, referenced by a Grammys’ performance alongside soul legend Stevie Wonder.
Given that the duo stays resolutely silent under various helmets, any talking was left to collaborators such as Pharrell Williams (the slick singer on ubiquitous summer smash “Get Lucky” and himself a four-time Grammy winner yesterday) and 1970s singing icon Paul Williams.
Given the overall strangeness—and yes, randomness—of this particular Grammys, there was something appropriate about two white-clad space robots silently accepting the biggest award in the music business.
“This is the most insane thing,” Paul Williams said as he and other collaborators gathered onstage following the final award.
“Back when I was drinking and using, I used to imagine things that weren’t there and it was frightening,” he noted.
“And then I got sober and two robots called and asked me to make an album.”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis had a big night, too, making off with four trophies—including a sweep of the major rap categories and a best new artist win—while participating in the evening’s defining performance setpiece.
With the stage dressed as an electric ministry, Macklemore delivered the pair’s gay rights’ anthem “Same Love” before Queen Latifah officiated the onstage marriage of 30-plus real couples.
Oh, and a white-clad Madonna popped up to duet with the song’s original guest vocalist, Mary Lambert.
Seventeen-year-old New Zealander Lorde was gobsmacked with each of her two wins, particularly a lofty song of the year honour that arrived for her widely-loved break-out single “Royals.”

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