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Musicians Giorgio Moroder, Nile Rodgers, Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk, Paul Williams, Pharrell Williams, and Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo of Daft Punk, and producers/engineers accept the Album of the Year award for ‘Random Access Memories’ onstage during the 56th Grammy Awards at Staples Center on Jan 26, in Los Angeles, California.
Punk, Pharrell dominate with 4 Lorde princess of Grammys

LOS ANGELES, Jan 27, (Agencies): Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams didn’t only get lucky — they won in every category they were nominated in at the Grammy Awards, including the coveted album of the year and record of the year for the funk-electronic anthem “Get Lucky.” “Back when I was drinking and using, I used to imagine things that weren’t there that were frightening. And then I got sober and two robots called me and asked me to make an album,” said producer Paul Williams, who stood onstage with Daft Punk, who sported their signature helmets. The French duo won four awards, including best dance/electronica album for “Random Access Memories” and pop duo/group performance for “Get Lucky,” which earned Pharrell a trophy.

Daft Punk’s retro, dance-flavored album not only featured ultra-hip Pharrell, but it also included music veterans Nile Rodgers and Giorgio Moroder. The 70s-sounding album matched the nostalgic mood of the Grammys, which featured many mellow performances and acts like Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Chicago and Stevie Wonder. Pharrell, like Daft Punk, won four honors. He came into the night with seven nominations, but competed with himself in three categories. Williams, who has produced hits for Britney Spears and Jay Z in the past, won his first Grammy for non-classical producer of the year.

While the men dominated, Lorde was the princess of the Grammys: Her hit “Royals” won song of the year and best pop solo performance. “Thank you everyone who has let this song explode because it’s been mental,” she said. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis tied Williams and Daft Punk with four wins. They won best new artist and rap album for “The Heist,” beating efforts from Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z, Kanye West and Drake. “Wow, we’re here on the stage right now,” said Macklemore, thanking fans first, then his fiancee and team. “I want to say we made this album without a record label, we made it independently and we appreciate all the support.”

The duo performed the gay acceptance hit “Same Love,” and 33 same-sex and heterosexual couples got married in the middle in the performance as Queen Latifah officiated. Madonna joined in wearing an all-white suit and hat, and sang “Open Your Heart” and some of “Same Love” with Mary Lambert. Keith Urban cried and Katy Perry caught a bouquet during the performance, where Lewis’ sister was among those tying the knot. Macklemore & Lewis’ wins, which include best rap song and rap performance for “Thrift Shop,” came after the Grammy rap committee almost ousted the group from its categories. A source told The Associated Press that the rap committee rejected the duo, but that was later overruled by the general Grammy committee. The rap committee felt Macklemore & Lewis should qualify for the pop awards instead because of their massive success on Top 40 radio. The source, who attended the general Grammy meeting, spoke on the condition of anonymity because the meeting was private.

Beyonce kicked off the Grammy Awards with a steamy and smoky performance of “Drunk In Love,” She started on a chair and in a revealing black outfit. Jay Z emerged in a fitted suit to rap his verse, and the couple — parents of little Blue Ivy — held hands and danced together. Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar, who left empty-handed, collaborated onstage to create an electrifying performance, as the acts sported all-white and went from rap song to rock song. Robin Thicke performed with Chicago, singing the group’s songs before going into “Blurred Lines,” which energized the crowd. Thicke finished the performance singing on the floor.

Perry sang “Dark Horse” in an eerie forest with fire that mirrored the song’s vibe, and John Legend and Taylor Swift — who whipped her head, and hair, back and forth — played pianos during their slow songs. Pink twirled in the air in her signature Cirque du Soleil-form. Swift, who was nominated for album of the year, lost best country album in a surprise upset to rising singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves. “Oh my goodness. Oh my god. I can’t even. I can’t even,” said a teary-eyed, but happy Musgraves, whose “Same Trailer Different Park” won the honor. “I got to make a record that I poured myself into and I’m so proud of.” The singer also beat Swift for best country song and was nominated for new artist.

Justin Timberlake, who wasn’t up for any of the major awards but had seven nods, didn’t make an appearance at the awards show. He won three trophies, including best R&B song for “Pusher Love Girl” and music video for “Suit & Tie,” which also earned Jay Z a Grammy. Jay Z and Timberlake also won best rap/sung collaboration for “Holy Grail.” “I want to thank God — I mean a little bit for this award — but mostly for all the universe for conspiring and putting that beautiful light of a young lady in my life,” Jay Z said, looking at Beyonce. “I want to tell Blue that, look, ‘Daddy got a gold sippy cup for you.’” Bruno Mars, who will perform at the Super Bowl halftime show next week, won best pop vocal album with his sophomore release, “Unorthodox Jukebox.”

“Ma, I know you’re watching. I hope you’re smiling. I love you very much,” said Mars, remembering his mother, who passed away last year. Mars’ father attended the awards show. Paul McCartney, engineer Bob Ludwig and gospel singer Tye Tribett were double winners. Imagine Dragons and Rihanna also picked up trophies. The music industry’s glamorous gathering also saw the two surviving Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, come together for a rare joint performance coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the British group’s breakthrough on American television. Nile Rodgers praised the French DJ duo for creating their electronic music album using live music recorded on to analog tape, calling it “a labor of love.”

“The fact that they decided to put this much effort into the music and bringing in musicians, they had this incredible vision and they believed they achieved something greater by doing that,” Rodgers said backstage. Formed in the early 1990s by Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, Daft Punk were pioneers of the electronic dance music phenomenon that has recently swept the U.S. mainstream pop industry. “This last year has kind of just blown up,” said Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds, dusted in the red powder from the band’s high-octane performance with rapper Kendrick Lamar.

There was also 71-year-old McCartney, who teamed up with former members of grunge rock band Nirvana, including Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, to win best rock song for “Cut Me Some Slack.” “It was magic for me playing with these guys,” said McCartney, adding “I found myself in the middle of a Nirvana reunion and I was very happy.” The surviving Beatles on Sunday reunited in spirit with their late bandmates at the Grammys as Yoko Ono danced to the jamming of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. The two living members of the Fab Four were in attendance to receive an award for lifetime achievement for the Liverpool band, widely considered among the most influential acts in music history.

As Starr took the stage to join McCartney on his song “Queenie Eye,” Ono — widow of the late John Lennon — swayed back and forth in the crowd in her trademark dark shades and black hat. Their son Sean Lennon, who bears a striking resemblance to his slain father with his glasses and unkempt hair, danced respectfully next to his mother. Olivia Harrison, the widow of fellow late Beatle George Harrison, and the wives of McCartney and Starr were also in attendance at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Music’s brightest stars bared lots of skin at the Grammys in Los Angeles on Sunday, oozing sex appeal and taking fashion risks on the industry’s biggest night.

Beyonce, who opened the show with a sultry performance of “Drunk in Love” with her husband Jay-Z, smoldered in a curve-hugging white mesh Michael Costello gown with strategically placed flowers, leaving little to the imagination. Swift, who was nominated for Album of the Year but lost out to Daft Punk, glittered in a metallic belted short-sleeved golden Gucci gown with a daring slit up the back, and her hair in a simple ponytail. In the va-va-voom category, Pink, who was nominated for the Song of the Year award for “Just Give Me a Reason,” exuded glamour in a strapless fire-engine red Johanna Johnson gown.

Pop princess Katy Perry, who had two nominations for her girl power anthem “Roar,” floated up the red carpet in a gauzy white Valentino number, with music notes playfully scattered along the skirt. The Grammys have been the scene of some of fashion’s classic red-carpet moments: Jennifer Lopez’s plunging barely-there green Versace gown in 2000 is still a benchmark. Alicia Keys, a winner for best R&B album for “Girl on Fire,” was a red-carpet triumph in a cobalt blue Armani halter gown with a wide plunging neckline and shiny black detailing at the waist. Madonna rocked a tailored gender-bending double-breasted Ralph Lauren black suit and tie — and carried a walking stick. Her son David wore a similar look. He had helped her choose the ensemble, she said.

Cyndi Lauper, a Grammy winner for best musical theater album for her Broadway show “Kinky Boots,” sported a black Alexander McQueen cape-style coat and leggings, looking every bit the rock chick. The male stars at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles did not disappoint. Both hip-hop star Macklemore — a winner for Best New Artist — and “Blurred Lines” crooner Robin Thicke wore velvet tuxedo jackets — the former in turquoise, the latter in navy Armani. Grammys host rapper-turned-actor LL Cool J also went with a velvet jacket, in deep purple.

Macklemore’s bandmate Ryan Lewis strutted his stuff in a black and gray large houndstooth suit, while rapper Kendrick Lamar opted for a tight-fitting slate blue suit, with a black shirt underneath. French electro duo Daft Punk — the big winners for album and record of the year — of course wore the ultimate accessory: their trademark shiny black helmets. For their performance of their mega-hit “Get Lucky,” they switched to all-white ensembles and striking white helmets.

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