Despite being designed to award artists for the greatest achievements in music, the Grammy Awards have become more about the performances than the actual prizes in recent years, and 2014 was no exception. Although they only gave out 10 trophies on air, the show ran an hour and a half over, filled with performers from every genre of music, featuring legends and newcomers alike. From Beyonce to Macklemore to Pink, everyone tried to have the biggest, the best, or the most spectacular performance of the night, and so we thought it only fair to reward their efforts with some awards of our own.
Best Indicator of What the 2015 Grammys Will Look Like - Beyonce and Jay ZDon't pretend that you haven't already learned this routine. Her surprise, self-titled album came out too late to be eligible for this year's awards, but Beyonce still had the honors of kicking the night off, and she did so with a performance of "Drunk In Love" with a performance the blended Flashdance with the "Cell Block Tango," and served as an excellent preview of what to expect from next year's show, when she will likely be nominated in every category she's eligible for (and probably a few she's not). If this is what the future holds for the Grammys, we're completely on board.
Most Likely to Be Your Dad's Favorite Performance - Paul McCartney and Ringo StarrLast night's awards spent a lot of time celebrating the legacy of The Beatles and their influence on music, including two separate performances by the group's two living alumni, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. First Starr busted out his best "dad at a wedding" dance moves for a rendition of his latest single, "Photograph," and then, after a long-winded intro from Julia Roberts, he joined McCartney and his technicolor piano for "Queenie Eye." We're all for honoring musical legends, but it seemed pretty clear that these two performances were aimed squarely at the middle-aged father demographic. On the bright side, though, we're glad to have found out that we have a lot of the same dance moves as Yoko Ono.
The "Pay Attention, Gentlemen" Award - John LegendJohn Legend busted out all of his smoothest moves to perform his latest single "All of Me," including several meaning ful camera pans to where his wife, Chrissy Teigen was sitting in the audience. Teigen was conveniently the only person sat under a spotlight, which allowed him to ensure that the entire world knew exactly who inspired his heartfelt ballad. That sound you heard in the middle of the song last night? That was women all around the world, smacking their boyfriends and husbands in the arm, and demanding to know why they can't be as romantic as Legend.
Most Likely to Make You Dance Around Your Bedroom - Daft Punk, Nile Rogers, Pharrell Williams, and Stevie WonderIt's a testament to "Get Lucky" that even when Pharrell swapped out his absurd, giant Mountie hat for one that was somehow bigger and weirder, everyone was too busy getting down to notice. And we do mean everyone: from Beyonce and Jay Z to Steven Tyler to Yoko Ono to Bruno Mars, everyone stopped what they were doing the second that bass line kicked in and danced, and for five minutes, the Grammys stopped being a long slog of commercials and piano ballads and felt like a proper celebration.
Best Tribute to a Previous Performance - PinkIn 2010, Pink gave one of the most memorable Grammy performances of all time, when she sang "Glitter in the Air" while in midair, performing tricks on aerial silks. This year, she decided to pay tribute to to that performance by busting out the aerial tricks on more time to sing "Try." Unfortunately, all of the incredible flips and spins only served as a reminder of how much the previous instance blew everyone away, and left most people feeling as if they were experiencing deja vu. However, she did help guilt everyone watching into renewing their gym membership, so she still comes out on top.
Bonus: Best Supporting Moustache - Nate Ruess. We don't know what possessed the lead singer of fun. to grow that facial hair, but it only served to distract everyone from the powerhouse vocal competition that was happening between him and Pink when they duetted on "Just Give Me a Reason."
Performance of the Night That Nobody Saw Coming - Kendrick Lamar and Imagine DragonsWhen it was first announced that Kendrick Lamar would be performing with Imagine Dragons, everyone was skeptical of what would result. Sure, the Grammys are all about surprising collaborations, but it seemed impossible for these two artists to mesh well. Turns out that we were all wrong: once they hit the stage, the audience both at home and in the arena woke up, and their mash up of "Radioactive" and "MAAD City" was the most exciting, addicting, memorable performance of the night. For five minutes, it seemed like the Grammys finally lived up to their promise and delivered something worthy of "the biggest night in music."
Most Unfortunate Performance Slot - Kacey MusgravesBeing the next big country star wasn't enough to save Kacey Musgraves from the thankless task of attempting to follow Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons. Before anyone had the chance to recover from having the roof blown off the Staple Center, everything immediately shifted to Musgraves, who performed her hit single "Follow Your Arrow." If she had performed at any other point in the evening, everyone would have been able to appreciate the song's clever lyrics and sweet message, but the abrupt tonal shift didn't accommodate her charm and left everyone feeling slightly underwhelmed. At least she has two shiny Grammy awards to take comfort in.
Best Guest Appearance - Queen LatifahWhen it came time for them to perform their hit song, "Same Love," Macklemore and Ryan Lewis decided to make some history by marrying 32 couples, both straight and gay, on air at the Grammys. Unfortunately for them, their touching performance was overshadowed by the presence of Queen Latifah as the officiant. She didn't do much other than invite the couples to exchange rings, and then pronounce them to be married, but somehow, in that short period of time, she managed to steal the show with nothing but sheer enthusiasm and a great dress. Not even Madonna could drag anyone's attention from the Queen, and couples all around the world put in requests to have her officiate their weddings as well.
Runner Up: Ryan Lewis, the silent, mysterious counterpoint to Macklemore, who popped up at random points throughout the performance to help guide people to their mark. Part producer, part choreographer, all enigma.
Most Cathartic Head-Banging - Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift won the Battle of the Melancholy Piano Ballads with a performance of "All Too Well," arguably the best song on her album Red, and the exact moment of victory came when she started whipping her hair back and forth as the song build up the the bridge. Swift gets a lot of flack for her dancing, but her head banging may be her best move of all - at once cathartic, ridiculous and a little bit melodramatic, it embodies everything that a good break up song should.
Most Likely to Remind You to Catch Up on Sleepy Hollow - Katy Perry and Juicy J Well, now we know what's on Katy Perry's DVR. The pop star took her new song "Dark Horse" in a distinctly witchier direction last night, with a performance that included skeletal trees, wishing wells, and a pole dancing routine performed on oversized broomsticks, all of which served to answer that eternal question: how do 18th century witches feel about hip hop beats? It might have seemed like an odd aesthetic choice at first, but it was one of the most visually stunning performances of the night. However, we do feel like she missed a trick by not having Juicy J dress up as Ichabod Crane. If anyone can pull off those giant gold buttons, it's him.
Biggest Middle Finger From CBS - Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Lindsey Buckingham, and Dave Grohl One of the most hyped performances of this year's Grammys featured Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age teaming up with Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham and Dave Grohl to close out the night and bring the house down. Unfortunately for fans who sat through the entire evening in anticipation, the performance was interrupted by random ads and the credits started rolling halfway through Queens of the Stone Age's song. That the Grammys decided to cut everyone off halfway through was surprising, considering the amount of press the collaboration had gotten in the run up to the awards, but interrupting one of the few exciting, energetic performances really added insult to injury. We're not the only ones upset, either - Reznor tweeted about being upset later in the night.
Jan Persson/Getty ImagesFollowing the 1991 tragic death of Freddie Mercury, undoubtedly one of the greatest showman of all time, it seemed unthinkable that the remaining members of Queen would even consider trying to find someone capable of filling his massive platform boots. And yet from one-off performances with Elton John and George Michael to a string of dates with American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert to a world tour and album with Paul Rodgers, Brian May and Roger Taylor have continued to showcase the band's iconic back catalogue with various different replacements. With fun.'s Nate Ruess the latest frontman to appear alongside the rock legends at last weekend's iHeartRadio Festival, here’s a look at five other potential candidates who embody the spirit of The Great Pretender.
Robbie WilliamsSay what you like about the former Take That star but he sure knows how to work a crowd. Williams has already been in the studio with Queen having recorded a cover of "We Are The Champions" for A Knight’s Tale and reportedly came close to fronting their 2005 reunion tour. But he's yet to make that giant leap and join them on stage.
MikaMika even referenced Mercury directly in his 2007 breakthrough hit, "Grace Kelly." And although his star has diminished considerably since, his natural flamboyance and piercing falsetto still makes him a credible contender.
Justin HawkinsAnother name who was touted in the press before Queen settled on Rodgers, Justin Hawkins channelled the bluster and pomp of the band's '70s era perfectly with The Darkness' debut album, Permission To Land. A virtuoso guitarist, the catsuit-clad rocker could also offer some neat interplay with May.
Russell BrandA leftfield choice which would no doubt enrage Queen's loyal fan base, the former Mr. Katy Perry may be best-known for his witty dictionary-swallowing way with words. But his roles in Get Me To The Greek and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, not to mention his London Olympics Closing Ceremony performance, proved he's got what it takes to be a rock star.
Marc MartelThe least known but possibly most obvious choice to do their classic hits justice, Marc Martel was personally chosen by Taylor to front the officially-sanctioned covers band for the recent Queen Extravaganza Tour following a YouTube-uploaded audition which displayed a highly impressive uncanny vocal resemblance to his idol.
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Fun. star Nate Ruess is set to become the latest singer to front Queen when he joins the band at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas this weekend, according to reports. Sources tell Billboard.com the pop star will reportedly sing Somebody to Love and Fat Bottomed Girls during the group's performance at the event, which will be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
He'll share the mic with Adam Lambert, who became Queen's regular stand-in singer last year (12).
Ruess will also hit the stage with fun. on Friday night (20Sep13), when Katy Perry, Elton John, Keith Urban, Muse, Tiesto and Chris Brown will also perform.
Paul McCartney, Justin Timberlake, Drake, Miley Cyrus and Bruno Mars will be among the stars headlining the event on Saturday (21Sep13).
Forget actors for once. Sunday night marked the night of awards season when we got to focus on the best musical artists of the year. That's right — it was the 55th annual Grammy Awards! And it was one hell of a show. From Adele to Mumford & Sons to Frank Ocean, the best of the best in the industry walked away with awards.
Check out the full list of winners below!
RELATED: Kim Kashkashian Wins A Grammy?!
Winners Announced Live:
1. Best Pop Solo Performance: "Set Fire To The Rain [Live]," Track from: Live At The Royal Albert Hall, Adele
2. Best Country Solo Performance: "Blown Away," Track from: Blown Away, Carrie Underwood
3. Song Of The Year: "We Are Young," Track from: Some Nights, Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker, Andrew Dost, and Nate Ruess, songwriters (Fun. Featuring Janelle Monáe)
4. Best Urban Contemporary Album: Channel Orange, Frank Ocean
5. Best Rock Performance: "Lonely Boy," Track from: El Camino, The Black Keys
6. Best Pop Vocal Album: Stronger, Kelly Clarkson
7. Best Rap/Sung Collabortion: "No Church In The Wild," Track from: Watch The Throne, Jay-Z and Kanye West Featuring Frank Ocean and The-Dream
8. Best Country Album: Uncaged, Zac Brown Band
9. Best New Artist: fun.
10. Record Of The Year: "Somebody That I Used To Know," Track from: Making Mirrors, Gotye Featuring Kimbra
11. Album Of The Year: Babel, Mumford & Sons
1. Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: Gotye Featuring Kimbra, Track from: Making Mirrors
2. Best Pop Instrumental Album: Impressions, Chris Botti
3. Best Dance Recording: "Bangarang," Track from: Bangarang, Skrillrex Featuring Sirah
4. Best Dance/Electric Album: Bangarang, Skrillex
5. Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: Kisses On The Bottom, Paul McCartney
6. Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance: "Love Bites (So Do I)," Track from: The Strange Case Of..., Halestorm
7. Best Rock Song: "Lonely Boy," Track from: El Camino, Dan Auerbach, Brian Burton, and Patrick Carney, songwriters (The Black Keys)
8. Best Rock Album: El Camino, The Black Keys
9. Best Alternative Music Album: Making Mirrors, Gotye
10. Best R&B Performance: "Climax," Track from: Looking 4 Myself, Usher
11. Best Traditional R&B Performance: "Love On Top," Track from: 4, Beyonce
12. Best R&B Song: "Adorn," Miguel Pimentel
13. Best R&B Album: Black Radio, Robert Glasper Experiment
14. Best Rap Performance: "N****s In Paris," Track from: Watch The Throne, Jay-Z and Kanye West
15. Best Rap Song: "N****s In Paris," Track from: Watch The Throne, Shawn Carter, Mike Dean, Chauncey Hollis, and Kanye West, songwriters (W.A. Donaldson, songwriter) (Jay-Z & Kanye West)
16. Best Rap Album: Take Care, Drake
17. Best Country Duo/Group Performance: "Pontoon," Little Big Town
18. Best Country Song: "Blown Away," Blown Away, Josh Kear and Chris Tompkins, songwriters (Carrie Underwood)
19. Best New Age Album: Echoes Of Love, Omar Akram
20. Best Improvised Jazz Solo: "Hot House," Track from: Hot House, Gary Burton and Chick Corea
21. Best Jazz Vocal Album: Radio Music Society, Esperanza Spalding
22. Best Jazz Instrumental Album: Unity Band, Pat Metheny Unity Band
23. Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album: Dear Diz (Everyday I Think Of You), Arturo Sandoval
24. Best Latin Jazz Album: ¡Ritmo!, The Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Big Band
25. Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance: "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord," Track from: 10,000 Reasons, Matt Redman
26. Best Gospel Song: "Go Get It," Erica Campbell, Tina Campbell, and Warryn Campbell, songwriters (Mary Mary)
27. Best Contemporary Christian Music Song: "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)," Track from: 10,000 Reasons, Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman, songwriters (Matt Redman)
28. Best Gospel Album: Gravity, Lecrae
29. Best Contemporary Christian Music Album: Eye On It, TobyMac
30. Best Latin Pop Album: MTV Unplugged Deluxe Edition, Juanes
31. Best Latin Album, Urban Or Alternative Album: Imaginaries, Quetzal
32. Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano): Pecados Y Milagros, Lila Downs
33. Best Tropical Latin Album: Retro, Marlow Rosado Y La Riquena
34. Best Americana Album: Slipstream, Bonnie Raitt
35. Best Bluegrass Album: Nobody Knows You, Steep Canyon Rangers
36. Best Blues Album: Locked Down, Dr. John
37. Best Folk Album: The Goat Rodeo Sessions, Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile
38. Best Regional Roots Music Album: The Band Courtbouillon, Wayne Toups, Steve Riley, and Wilson Savoy
39. Best Reggae Album: Rebirth, Jimmy Cliff
40. Best World Music Album: The Living Room Sessions Part 1, Ravi Shankar
41. Best Children's Album: Can You Canoe?, The Okee Dokee Brothers
42. Best Spoken World Album: Society's Child: My Autobiography, Janis Ian
43. Best Comedy Album: Blow Your Pants Off, Jimmy Fallon
44. Best Musical Theater Album: Once: A New Musical, Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti, principal soloists; Steven Epstein and Martin Lowe, producers (Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, composers/lyricists) (Original Broadway Cast With Steve Kazee, Cristin Milioti, and Others)
45. Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media: Midnight In Paris, Various Artists
46. Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, composers
47. Best Song Written For Visual Media: Safe & Sound (From The Hunger Games), T Bone Burnett, Taylor Swift, John Paul White, and Joy Williams, songwriters (Taylor Swift Featuring The Civil Wars)
48. Best Instrumental Composition: "Mozart Goes Dancing," Track from: Hot House, Chick Corea
49. Best Instrumental Arrangement: "How About You," Track from: Centennial - Newly Discovered Works Of Gil Evans, Gil Evans, arranger (Gil Evans Project)
50. Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s): "City Of Roses," Track from: Radio Music Society, Thara Memory and Esperanza Spalding, arrangers (Esperanza Spalding)
51. Best Recording Package: Biophilia, Michael Amzalag and Mathias Augustyniak, art directors (Björk)
52. Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package: Woody At 100: The Woody Guthrie Centennial Collection, Fritz Klaetke, art director (Woody Guthrie)
53. Best Album Notes: Singular Genius: The Complete ABC Singles, Billy Vera, album notes writer (Ray Charles)
54. Best Historical Album: The Smile Sessions (Deluxe Box Set), Alan Boyd, Mark Linett, Brian Wilson, and Dennis Wolfe, compilation producers; Mark Linett, mastering engineer (The Beach Boys)
55. Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical: The Goat Rodeo Sessions, Richard King, engineer; Richard King, mastering engineer (Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile)
56. Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical: Dan Auerbach, El Camino (The Black Keys), Locked Down (Dr. John), Savage (Hacienda), Shakedown (Hacienda)
57. Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical: "Promises (Skrillex & Nero Remix)," Skrillex, remixer (Nero), Joseph Ray, Skrillex, and Daniel Stephens, remixers
58. Best Surround Soung Album: Modern Cool, Jim Anderson, surround mix engineer; Darcy Proper, surround mastering engineer; Michael Friedman, surround producer (Patricia Barber)
59. Best Engineered Album, Classical: Life & Breath - Choral Works By René Clausen, Tom Caulfield and John Newton, engineers; Mark Donahue, mastering engineer (Charles Bruffy and Kansas City Chorale)
60. Producer Of The Year: Blanton Alspaugh, Chamber Symphonies (Gregory Wolynec & Gateway Chamber Orchestra), Davis: Río De Sangre (Joseph Rescigno, Vale Rideout, Ava Pine, John Duykers, Kerry Walsh, Guido LeBron, The Florentine Opera Company & Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra), Gjeilo: Northern Lights (Charles Bruffy & Phoenix Chorale), In Paradisum (Brian A. Schmidt & South Dakota Chorale), Life & Breath - Choral Works By René Clausen (Charles Bruffy & Kansas City Chorale), Music For A Time Of War (Carlos Kalmar & The Oregon Symphony, Musto: The Inspector (Glen Cortese & Wolf Trap Opera Company)
61. Best Orchestral Performance: "Adams: Harmonielehre & Short Ride In A Fast Machine," Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor (San Francisco Symphony)
62. Best Opera Recording: "Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen," James Levine and Fabio Luisi, conductors; Hans-Peter König, Jay Hunter Morris, Bryn Terfel and Deborah Voigt; Jay David Saks, producer (The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; The Metropolitan Opera Chorus)
63. Best Choral Performance: "Life & Breath - Choral Works By René Clausen," Charles Bruffy, conductor (Matthew Gladden, Lindsey Lang, Rebecca Lloyd, Sarah Tannehill, and Pamela Williamson; Kansas City Chorale)
64. Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance: "Meanwhile," Eighth Blackbird
65. Best Classical Instrumental Solo: "Kurtág & Ligeti: Music For Viola," Kim Kashkashian
66. Best Classical Vocal Solo: "Poèmes," Renée Fleming (Alan Gilbert and Seiji Ozawa; Orchestre National De France & Orchestre Philharmonique De Radio France)
67. Best Classical Compendium: "Penderecki: Fonogrammi; Horn Concerto; Partita; The Awakening Of Jacob; Anaklasis," Antoni Wit, conductor; Aleksandra Nagórko and Andrzej Sasin, producers
68. Best Contemporary Classical Composition: "Hartke, Stephen: Meanwhile - Incidental Music To Imaginary Puppet Plays," Track from: Meanwhile, Stephen Hartke, composer (Eighth Blackbird)
69. Best Short Form Music Video: "We Found Love," Rihanna Featuring Calvin Harris
70. Best Long Form Music Video: "Big Easy Express," Mumford & Sons
Follow Lindsey on Twitter @LDiMat.
[Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]
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