LOS ANGELES — It was a historic night for Seattle music at the 56th Grammy Awards on Sunday at Staples Center, with rapper Macklemore and producer Ryan Lewis picking up four awards, the most Grammys ever won by a Seattle act.
In an evening marked by repeated nods to the Beatles, whose 50th anniversary in the U.S. will be celebrated next month, and by an inspirational tone about music as a force for change, the dynamic duo picked up trophies for best new artist and also won in three rap categories: best rap album (“The Heist”), best rap song, with Michael Wansley, known as Wanz (“Thrift Shop”) and best rap performance (“Thrift Shop”).
“Who-o-o!” shouted Macklemore, dressed in a green velvet tux, as he accepted the award for best new artist. “First and foremost, I would like to thank our fans, the people that got us on this stage. Before there was a story there was our fans … We made this album without a record label … we appreciate all the support.”
Macklemore and Lewis, scarcely known outside Seattle two years ago, have become international stars. They were nominated for seven awards.
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Near the end of the show, which was telecast on CBS, Macklemore and Lewis sang their hit, “Same Love,” about same-sex marriage, and the crowd went wild. They were joined by Seattle singer-songwriter Mary Lambert and Queen Latifah, who presided over the marriage of 33 couples — straight and gay — who exchanged rings in the aisles.
At the end, they were also joined by Madonna, who wore an all-white cowboy suit and carried a cane.
Backstage afterward, Mary Lambert was asked if she had any words for the folks back home. “Go Hawks,” she said, then added, “It looks like we took home four awards. I’m so excited.”
Macklemore, on Instagram, thanked his fans, writing “You’re the reason we were on that stage tonight. And to play ‘Same Love’ on that platform was a career highlight. The greatest honor of all.”
Two more Grammys went to Seattle-related folks. Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear, the drummer, bass player and second guitarist (for several months), respectively, with grunge band Nirvana, earned an award with Paul McCartney for best rock song, for “Cut Me Some Slack.”
Hear Music, the record company arm of Seattle-based Starbucks, won for best box or special limited edition music album, for a deluxe reissue of McCartney’s “Wings Over America.”
The four top awards went to Daft Punk, for record of the year (“Get Lucky”) and album of the year (“Random Access Memories”); Lorde (Ella Yelich O’Connor) and Joel Little for song of the year (“Royals”); and Macklemore and Lewis, for best new artist.
Paul de Barros: email@example.com