Sam Smith's Amazing Night At The Grammy Awards, Full Event Recap
Smith Wins Record, Song Of The Year, Best New Artist; Beck Grabs Album Of The Year
February 9, 2015 at 3:53 AM (PT)
SAM SMITH was denied a slice of history at the 57th annual GRAMMY AWARDS last night at L.A.'s STAPLES CENTER by a rock veteran. The U.K. singer-songwriter, whose long march to GRAMMY night began last year at about this time when CAPITOL RECORDS and STEVE BARNETT introduced him to AMERICA, earned both RECORD and SONG OF THE YEAR for "Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)," his lament over a one-night stand, while also nabbing the coveted BEST NEW ARTIST and BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM for "In The Lonely Hour," giving him a field-leading total of four for the evening.
"It was only until I started to be myself that the music started to flow and people started to listen," SMITH said while collecting the BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM award. He shouted out his Mom and Dad when he picked up the first televised award, BEST NEW ARTIST.
Only BECK's upset victory in the ALBUM OF THE YEAR category -- presented by PRINCE -- for "Morning Phase" prevented SMITH from tying CHRISTOPHER CROSS' longtime record of sweeping the four categories back in 1981. NORAH JONES won all four categories in 2003 for her album "Come Away With Me" and song "Don't Know Why," though technically, writer JESSE HARRIS earned the nod for SONG OF THE YEAR.
BECK's eyebrow-raising win in the category -- it also won for BEST ROCK ALBUM -- was in the tradition of past GRAMMY headscratchers like HERBIE HANCOCK's 2008 winner, "River: The JONI Letters," STEELY DAN's 2001 "Two Against Nature" and 2002's COEN BROTHERS soundtrack, "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou."
Beyonce, Pharrell Williams, Bob Ludwig Win Three
Three-time GRAMMY winners for the night included BEYONCE (BEST R&B PERFORMANCE and BEST R&B SONG for "Drunk In Love" and BEST SURROUNDSOUND ALBUM for "BEYONCE"); PHARRELL WILLIAMS (BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE for "Happy [Live]," BEST URBAN CONTEMPORARY ALBUM for "G.I.R.L." and BEST MUSIC VIDEO for "Girl"); and engineer BOB LUDWIG, who was awarded for work on BECK's "Morning Phase" and BEYONCE's "BEYONCE."
Also winning three awards was roots artist ROSANNE CASH (BEST AMERICAN ROOTS PERFORMANCE and BEST AMERICAN ROOTS SONG for "A Feather's Not A Bird" and BEST AMERICANA ALBUM for "The River & The Thread"). "The last time I won a GRAMMY [RONALD] REAGAN was President," CASH laughed when accepting during the GRAMMY AWARDS PREMIERE CEREMONY.
Other multiple winners included CHICK COREA, EMINEM, FOR KING & COUNTRY, KENDRICK LAMAR, KRISTEN ANDERSON-LOPEZ, ROBERT LOPES and JACK WHITE.
There were posthumous awards for JOAN RIVERS (BEST SPOKEN WORD ALBUM) for "Diary Of A Mad Diva") and blues rock guitarist JOHNNY WINTER (BEST BLUES ALBUM for "Step Back"). RECORDING ACADEMY LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD recipient GLEN CAMPBELL, in the late stages of ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE, won Best Country Song (along with co-writer JULIAN RAYMOND for the OSCAR-nominated "I'm Not Gonna Miss You") but was not able to appear to accept the award. THE BAND PERRY won BEST COUNTRY DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE for their cover of JOHN HARTFORD's 'Gentle On My Mind," also from the GLEN CAMPBELL "I'll Be Me" soundtrack (CAMPBELL's version of that song won four GRAMMY AWARDS in 1968).
The show was filled with 23 individual performances, starting with AC/DC's bombastic "Rock Or Bust" and "Highway To Hell," which saw the audience don devil's horns (and the band read lyrics from a teleprompter), to the closing JOHN LEGEND and COMMON take on their GOLDEN GLOBE-winning, OSCAR-nominated "Glory," from "Selma," which could be interpreted as the RECORDING ACADEMY's response to criticism over the lack of minority nominees in the BIG FOUR categories.
Other highlights included RIHANNA's performance of the new single, "FourFiveSeconds" with KANYE WEST and PAUL McCARTNEY to spots featuring BEYONCE, MADONNA, PHARRELL WILLIAMS (sporting his own nod to the bellhop Zero in "The Grand Budapest Hotel") with classical pianist LANG LANG, MIRANDA LAMBERT and ERIC CHURCH.
In a continuation of executive producer KEN EHRLICH's penchant for GRAMMY MOMENT duets/mash-ups, the two highlights were HOZIER and ANNIE LENNOX doing "Take Me To Church" and "I Put a Spell On You," and the pairing of SAM SMITH and MARY J. BLIGE. SIA donned a huge white wig to hide her face during a performance of the GRAMMY-nominated "Chandelier' with KRISTEN WIIG and 12-year-old video sidekick MADDIE ZIEGLER. Other pairings included BEST TRADITIONAL POP VOCAL ALBUM winners TONY BENNETT and LADY GAGA, VOICE regulars ADAM LEVINE and GWEN STEFANI, ED SHEERAN with ELO and JOHN MAYER, BEST NEW ARTIST nominee BRANDY CLARK and DWIGHT YOAKAM, TOM JONES and JESSIE J and also BECK with COLDPLAY's CHRIS MARTIN.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA appeared midway through to make a plea to stop domestic abuse, backed up by KATY PERRY's song of empowerment about a victim of such abuse, "By The Grace Of God," as stripped down as her SUPER BOWL HALFTIME performance was over the top.
Other winners included ST. VINCENT (BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM), PARAMORE "Ain't It Fun" (BEST ROCK SONG), BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE for "Say Something" by A GREAT BIG WORLD with CHRISTINA AGUILERA, WEIRD AL YANKOVIC (BEST COMEDY ALBUM), TONI BRAXTON & BABYFACE (BEST R&B ALBUM) and MAX MARTIN, with his first-ever PRODUCER OF THE YEAR (NON-CLASSICAL) award for his work with KATY PERRY ("Dark Horse"), TAYLOR SWIFT ("Shake It Off") and JESSIE J, ARIANA GRANDE and NICKI MINAJ ("Bang Bang").
For a complete list of winners go here.