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Grammys crown Sam Smith and Beck; Kanye predictably makes a scene

sam smith james bond spectre
This year’s Grammys felt less like an award show and more like a concert where trophies were occasionally given out. The 57th iteration of the show was packed with performances, 23 in total, that bridged the gap between artists of today and yesteryear.

Related: New report: Music labels, not Spotify, to blame for poor artist payouts

The show kicked off with a two-song performance by AC/DC, because what better way to get in the mood to award the best musicians of 2014? (To be fair, AC/DC did put out a new record last year and it sounded every bit like an AC/DC record from their heyday.) It was also an upbeat note before a show that was filled with ballads. If you managed to stay awake through them, you’d have seen pairings of Tom Jones and Jessie J, Anna Kendrick and Ariana Grande, and Sam Smith with Mary J. Blige, among others. The arrangement of Blige and Smith’s duet was particularly impressive, complete with a string orchestra backing the two through Smith’s entirely unescapable Stay With Me.

And then, of course, there was Kanye. The one person who manages to make headlines without winning anything, Yeezus provided some signature shock value, and a bit of humor by pretending to take to the stage to protest Beck winning Album of the Year over Beyoncé. Oh, and he also put on quite the show of his own when not poking fun at himself, performing the new song Only One and the Rhianna and Paul McCartney-supported FourFiveSeconds. He also clowned on Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet before the show, telling the host that having multiple interests isn’t due to having attention deficit disorder but is rather “just called thinking.”

Kanye was more serious after the ceremony, however, claiming that Beck, an icon in the production and writing of alternative rock for decades, should “respect artistry,” and that he should’ve “given his award to Beyoncé.” For what it’s worth, Kanye got blanked in his two nominated categories, losing to Eminem in both—and continuing the trend that the vocal artist (to put it delicately) has pointed out in the past, namely that he’s never won an award while up against a white artist.

Taylor Swift also went home without an award, and handed out some solid advice to other artists who suffered the same fate. “As a former loser of Best New Artist in 2008, if you do not win this award, it’s gonna be fine. Just, like, shake it off,” she said. One person who did not have to heed that advice: Sam Smith. He took home awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist, and Best Pop Vocal Album. It was a big night for the new star, who has had some controversy of his own recently thanks to Stay With Me being recognized as sounding all too close to Tom Petty’s Won’t Back Down. Petty now shares royalties, as well as being recognized as a songwriter on the track.

You can see the full list if winners below:

Record of the Year Sam Smith – “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)”
Song of the Year Sam Smith – “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)”
Album of the Year Beck – Morning Phase
Best New Artist Sam Smith
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance A Great Big World with Christina Aguilera – “Say Something”
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga – Cheek To Cheek
Best Pop Solo Performance Pharrell Williams – “Happy”
Best Pop Vocal Album Sam Smith – In The Lonely Hour
Best Rock Performance Jack White – “Lazaretto”
Best Rock Album Beck – Morning Phase
Best Rock Song Paramore – “Ain’t It Fun”
Best Alternative Rock Album St. Vincent – St. Vincent
Best Metal Performance Tenacious.D – “The Last In Line”
Best Rap Performance Kendrick Lamar – “I”
Best RapSung Collaboration Eminem featuring Rihanna – “The Monster”
Best Rap Song Kendrick Lamar – “I”
Best Rap Album Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP2
Best R&B Performance Beyoncé featuring Jay Z – “Drunk in Love”
Best Traditional R&B Performance “Jesus Children” – Robert Glasper Experiment featuring Lalah Hathaway & Malcolm-Jamal Warner
Best R&B Song Beyoncé featuring Jay Z – “Drunk in Love”
Best Urban Contemporary Album Pharrell Williams – Girl
Best R&B Album Toni Braxton & Babyface – Love, Marriage & Divorce
Best Contemporary Instrumental Album Chris Thile & Edgar Meyer – Bass & Mandolin
Best Dance/Electronic Album Aphex Twin – Syro
Best Dance Recording Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne – “Rather Be”
Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media Frozen
Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Song Written for Visual Media “Let It Go” from Frozen
Best Country Album Miranda Lambert – Platinum
Best Country Solo Performance Carrie Underwood – “Something In The Water”
Best Country Duo/Group Performance The Band Perry – “Gentle On My Mind”
Best Country Song Glen Campbell & Julian Raymond, songwriters (Glen Campbell) – “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”
Best Bluegrass Album The Earls of Leicester – The Earls of Leicester
Best American Roots Performance Rosanne Cash – “A Feather’s Not A Bird”
Best American Roots Song Rosanne Cash – “A Feather’s Not A Bird”
Best Americana Album Rosanne Cash – The River & The Thread
Best Folk Album Old Crow Medicine Show – Remedy
Best Music Video Pharrell Williams – “Happy”
Best Music Film 20 Feet From Stardom
Producer of the Year, Non-Classical Max Martin
Best Instrumental Composition John Williams – “The Book Thief”
Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella Pentatonix – “Daft Punk”
Best Arrangement, Instrumental and Vocals Billy Childs – “New York Tendaberry”
Best Recording Package Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt
Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917 – 27)
Best Album Notes John Coltrane – Offering: Live At Temple University
Best Historical Album Hank Williams – The Garden Spot Programs, 1950
Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical Beck – Morning Phase
Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical John Legend – “All of Me (Tiesto’s Birthday Treatment Remix)”
Best Surround Sound Album  Beyoncé – Beyoncé
Best Regional Roots Music Album  Jo-El Sonnier – The Legacy
Best Reggae Album Ziggy Marley – Fly Rasta
Best World Music Album Angelique Kidjo – Eve
Best Children’s Album Neela Vaswani – I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education And Changed The World (Malala Yousafzai)
Best Musical Theatre Album  Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Best Blues Album Johnny Winter – Step Back
Best Spoken Word Album Joan Rivers – Diary Of A Mad Diva
Best Comedy Album “Weird Al” Yankovic – Mandatory Fun
Best New Age Album Ricky Kej & Wouter Kellerman – Winds of Samsara
Best Improved Jazz Solo Chick Corea – “Fingerprints”
Best Jazz Vocal Album Dianne Reeves – Beautiful Life
Best Jazz Instrumental Album Chick Corea Trio – Trilogy
Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band – Life In The Bubble
Best Latin Jazz Album Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra – The Offense Of The Drum
AJ Dellinger
AJ Dellinger is a freelance reporter from Madison, Wisconsin with an affinity for all things tech. He has been published by…
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