It was the biggest night of the year for the recording industry when the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences awarded their 56th Annual Grammy Awards.
This year’s awards recognised the quirky and the unusual, with French robot dance act Daft Punk winning five, including Album of the Year (‘Random Access Memories’), and Record of the Year (‘Get Lucky’), and New Zealand teenager Lorde took away the awards Song of the Year (‘Royals’) and Best Pop Solo Performance, also for ‘Royals’.
Surely the most controversial winners of the night however were Rapper Macklemore and producer Ryan Lewis, who found fame after self-releasing their album ‘The Heist’, and were nominated in seven categories. The pair were awarded the prizes for Best Rap Song (‘Thrift Shop’), Best Rap Performance (‘Thrift Shop’) Best Rap Album (‘The Heist’), and Best New Artist.
They went on to perform their song, ‘Same Love’, with Queen Latifah officiating over the weddings of 34 couples at the ceremony, leaving not a dry eye in the house.
“As she (Queen Latifah) pronounced them legally married, Madonna hit the stage wearing a white cowboy hat and started singing a slowed-down version of her 1986 single “Open Your Heart.” A choir backed her, the newly married couples were shown singing along in tears and Macklemore’s vision of literally uniting people was fully realized on a massive, world stage.” – Rolling Stone
That’s not the controversial part. Consider Macklemore’s acceptance speech:
“We made this album without a record label, we made it independently and we appreciate all the support.”
Commentators suggest that in light of this, emerging and existing artists will no longer feel compelled to find a record label, thus allowing them the creative freedom and flexibility that is so often lost when an artist is restricted to what the label deems commercially viable.
It will be interesting to see what unfolds for 2014-15 .