Pharrell, Beyonce, Rosanne Cash win 3 Grammys each
LOS ANGELES, United States — Pharrell won four Grammys last year, and in the first hour of the awards show Sunday, he already earned three honors.
The singer-rapper-producer won best pop solo performance and music video for “Happy,” as well as best urban contemporary album for “G I R L,” beating Beyonce.
“I am going to moonwalk my way off the stage right now,” said Pharrell, wearing a blazer and shorts.
Beyonce and Rosanne Cash also won three awards, while Sam Smith was a double winner.
Madonna, dressed as a matador, performed “Living for Love” on top of platform surrounded by a plethora of background dancers wearing bull masks. A choir did most of the singing, while Madonna danced and the audience at the Staples Center clapped in unison. She ascended into the air as the performance finished.
“Let’s give it up for our bitch Madonna,” Cyrus said as she introduced Madonna. “She made me call her that.”
Kanye West performed on a nearly pitch-black stage, with a light glowing from under his feet (he also sported the new sneakers he designed). He sang the new song about his late mother, “Only One,” which features Paul McCartney.
Smith, who won two awards including best new artist and pop vocal album for “In the Lonely Hour,” is set to perform. He said he only found success in music once he found his own voice.
“I just wanna say that before I made this record, I was doing everything to try to get my music heard … I tried to lose weight and I was making awful music. It was when I started to by myself that the music flowed,” he told the crowd.
Taylor Swift presented best new artist to her friend, who is nominated for album, song and record of the year.
“As a former loser of best new artist … it’s gonna be fine. Just shake it off,” Swift said before announcing the winner.
Beyonce won best R&B song and R&B performance for “Drunk In Love” and surround sound album for “Beyonce.”
“This has been such an incredible year,” she said, thanking her “beloved husband” and “my daughter who is watching.”
In one of 23 performances set for the awards show, AC/DC kicked off the show with a performance of their latest single, “Rock or Bust,” and then transitioned into the classic “Highway to Hell.” It earned a rousing applause from Pharrell, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, who wore devil horns.
Ariana Grande gave a stripped, piano-led performance of “Just a Little Bit of Your Heart,” a song co-written by One Direction’s Harry Styles, while Miranda Lambert brought a rock-heavy vibe when she sang “Little Red Wagon.”
As the Grammys pre-show ended, Cash led with three Grammys, while Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Chick Corea and the “Frozen” soundtrack earned two awards apiece.
“Reagan was president last time I won a Grammy,” said Cash, who won best American roots performance, American roots song and Americana album Sunday. “I just showed up for work for 35 years and this is what happened.”
Lamar, who lost in seven categories last year, marked a redemption by winning best rap performance and rap song for “i.” Eminem won best rap album, beating Common and Iggy Azalea. He also won best rap/sung collaboration for “The Monster” with Rihanna.
Beyonce, Pharrell and Smith were the Grammy leaders with six nominations each.
The late Joan Rivers won best spoken word album for “Diary of a Mad Diva,” and her daughter, Melissa Rivers, was on hand to accept the award.
“If my mother was here tonight, she would not only be honored and thrilled to be holding her first Grammy, she would most likely have it copied and on the air on QVC by 11,” Melissa Rivers said to laughter.
The awards show will also feature performances from Katy Perry, Pharrell, John Mayer and Beyonce, who is nominated for album of the year for the earth-shattering release of her self-titled effort.
She caused a frenzy, set records and reached new heights. “Beyonce” not only marked a moment in pop culture, it is part of music history.
The singer, who is the most nominated female in Grammy history, could continue with history-making moments if “Beyonce” wins album of the year.
“She’s never won album of the year. I don’t know how that’s possible. What is going on in the world where Beyonce hasn’t won album of the year?” asked Ryan Tedder, a producer on “Beyonce.”
“I don’t understand — so I’m hoping this is her year,” he said.
She faces tough competition: Smith is also nominated for album of the year, along with Pharrell’s “G I R L,” Ed Sheeran’s “X” and Beck’s “Morning Phase,” which won best rock album.
Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” and Sia’s “Chandelier” are nominated for both record and song of the year. Hozier’s haunting “Take Me to Church” rounds out the list of song of the year nominees.
Hozier said on the red carpet regardless of whether he wins, he has a music video to shoot after he’s finished with the awards.
“Hangover or not, there will be a music video,” he said.