Daft Punk, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis shine at the 2014 Grammy Awards

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis dominated the 2014 Grammy Awards. (Photo property of the Recording Academy)

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis dominated the 2014 Grammy Awards. (Photo property of the Recording Academy)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

It’s the biggest night in music!

For the past 55 years, the greats have gathered together to celebrate the brightest and talented artists in the recording industry.

Multiple artists including Carlos Santana, Beyoncé, Adele, Barbra Streisand, Stevie Wonder and the late Michael Jackson joined the music pantheon after receiving the organization’s highest honors: a Grammy Award.

In addition, an elite group of talent including Sir Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Melissa Etheridge, Simon & Garfunkel, Christina Aguilera, Eminem, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin and Fleetwood Mac has redefined the art of performing by producing “Grammy Moments.”

Tonight, at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards…a collectic group of collaborators hit the stage, and some performed together…for the very first time!  Which acts rocked? Who fizzled? Read on to find out…

The First Couple of R&B-Hip/Hip (Beyoncé & Jay-Z) kicked things off with “Drunk in Love.” Queen B delivered a strong vocal performance and twirled around in a chair.  While it was raunchy, this was Beyoncé at her best.  After an inspiring speech from host LL Cool J, Anna Kendrick and Pharrell Williams presented Best New Artist to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, the Seattle natives received a standing ovation from the crowd.

Fans were very impressed with Lorde’s performance. The New Zealand native performed the first few measures of “Royals” a cappella, while her band jumped two minutes into the song.  It was also interesting to notice that the entire Staples Center was silent during the entire performance, but gave a standing ovation after she was done.

Rising country superstar Hunter Hayes debuted his powerful new song, “Invisible,” on the Grammy Awards.  While it had a strong message behind it, Hunter’s vocals were off-pitch and nasally.  After Hunter exited stage left, it was time for Anna Farris and Juanes to present Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers with their Best Duo/Group Performance.  Katy Perry and Juicy J transported the Grammy audience to an evil forest.  While the choreography was a little cheesy, Katy’s vocals and Juicy’s beats redeemed this performance.

Every year on the Grammys, there are incredible collaborations between artists from diverse genres. R&B singer Robin Thicke teamed up with the classic brass band Chicago on a medley that included “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is,” “Saturday In the Park” and “Blurred Lines.” It was great to hear Robin’s strong tenor voice fused with Chicago’s brassy sound.  Up next was American Idol judge Keith Urban teamed up with Gary Clark, Jr. to deliver a strong guitar jam session.

John Legend delivered the night’s first intimate with his hit “All of Me.” His velvet vocals gave everyone chills and his wife, Chrissy Teigen, beamed with pride while the crowd gave him a standing ovation. As he left the stage, R&B legend Charlie Wilson and comedian Kevin Hart presented Best Rock Song to Dave Grohl and Sir Paul McCartney for “Cut Me Some Slack.”

The night’s second intimate performance belonged to Taylor Swift. Taylor delivered a strong vocal performance with her hit “All Too Well” from her massive Red album. I can now say that I admire Taylor Swift as an artist, a performer and songwriter.

After a swift introduction from Bruno Mars, P!nk returned to the Grammy stage with an incredible acrobatic and contemporary routine to “Try.” Fun’s Nate Ruess reunited with P!nk and performed their nominated power ballad “Just Give Me a Reason.” It was great to see both Nate and P!nk give it all they got with their bombastic vocal ranges.

Ringo Starr brought an all-star group of artists including Peter Frampton to perform his classic hit: “Photograph.”  Jamie Foxx presented friend Jay-Z with his first Grammy of the night for the Best Rap-Sung Performance, “Holy Grail.” The rap mogul thanked his family for their support.

After performances from Imagine Dragons, Kendrick Lamar and Kacey Musgraves, LL Cool J paid tribute to the Trustees Award winners.  Oscar-winning actress Julia Roberts previewed the 50th anniversary special of the Beatles’ appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.  She also introduced Sir Paul McCartney! He reunited with fellow former Beatle Ringo Starr to perform his hit: “Queenie Eye!”

Voice coach Blake Shelton teamed up with two country legends, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, to celebrate Kris Kristofferson’s recent Lifetime Achievement Award. It was interesting to see the last two country highwaymen together and Blake and Merle breathed new life into the classic country tunes. The fun continued as Martina McBride and Zac Brown presented newcomer Kacey Musgraves with her second Grammy of the evening!

Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers teamed up with Stevie Wonder for an outstanding medley. (Photo property of the Recording Academy)

Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers teamed up with Stevie Wonder for an outstanding medley of their incredible hits. (Photo property of the Recording Academy)

One of the best performances of the evening belonged to the quartet of Daft Punk, Pharrell, Nile Rodgers and the legendary Stevie Wonder. They brilliantly mashed the French duo’s “Get Lucky” and “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” with Chic’s “Le Freak” and Stevie’s “Another Star.”  Seeing everyone from Beyoncé & Jay-Z to Ringo Starr and Yoko Ono getting down was also exciting!

Sara Bareilles teamed up with her musical hero, Carole King, for a brilliant duet. Their mash-up of “Beautiful” and “Brave” gave everyone chills and proved that you do not need flashing lights or dancers to perform at the Grammys.  After their collaboration, the two singer-songwriters delivered the Song of the Year to Lorde’s “Royals.”

Oscar nominee Jared Leto paid homage to the late Lou Reed before introducing iconic rock band Metallica.  Joining the rockers onstage was celebrated Chinese pianist Lang Lang! It was interesting to hear how Lang Lang’s outstanding piano playing combined with Metallica’s heavy rock sound.  However, it was one Grammy moment to remember.

Music icons Steven Tyler and Smokey Robinson teamed up to deliver this year’s Record of the Year award. Daft Punk, Pharrell and Nile Rodgers’ “Get Lucky” was able to walk off with the win! I hope that Daft Punk can collaborate with the music icons soon!

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis teamed up with Mary Lambert and Trombone Shorty for a moving performance of “Same Love.” While Macklemore’s strong beats delivered the powerful message, Queen Latifah officiated the wedding vows of  33 couples. Madonna lead the group with a rendition of “Open Your Heart.”  This will definitely be a performance that will be talking about for years to come.

What were your favorite Grammy moments?



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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar