Monday, 27 January 2014

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Lead Grammy Award Winners

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Jay-Z and Daft Punk are among the stars vying for glory at the prestigious Grammy Awards. The Los Angeles ceremony is the biggest night in the US music calendar. Hip-hop duo Macklemore and Lewis were among the early winners, picking up four awards - best new artist plus best rap album, song and performance.

French dance duo Daft Punk have three prizes so far, while Justin Timberlake has won two. Rap giant Jay-Z leads the field with nine nominations. Many of the 82 winners were named at a preliminary ceremony before the main televised event. They included Adele's James Bond theme Skyfall, which won the prize for best song written for visual media. It has been a good night for British veterans, with Led Zeppelin winning best rock album for their live recording Celebration Day.

Black Sabbath scooped best metal performance, while Sir Paul McCartney took the trophy for best music film. Other British nominees included Ed Sheeran and James Blake, who were both up for best new artist.

The main ceremony is known for its heavyweight on-stage collaborations and this year's show was opened by Jay-Z and his wife Beyonce. Other highlights will include Daft Punk, Nile Rodgers and Pharrell Williams being joined by Stevie Wonder to perform their hit Get Lucky. Queens of the Stone Age will join forces with Nine Inch Nails, Dave Grohl and Lindsey Buckingham are to close the show, while Madonna is expected to perform with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

Jay-Z has the most nominations, up for awards including best rap song and best rap album. But he was left out of the three main categories - song, record and album of the year. Rapper Macklemore and producer Ryan Lewis, who found fame after self-releasing their album The Heist, are up for a total of seven awards, including album of the year and song of the year for Same Love. Pharrell Williams is listed twice for record of the year and twice for album of the year thanks to his work with Daft Punk, Robin Thicke and Kendrick Lamar. LA rapper Lamar also has seven nominations including album of the year for Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, plus best rap album, best rap performance and best new artist.

Justin Timberlake has seven nominations including best pop solo performance and best R&B song - but he was shut out of the main three categories. Other leading contenders include 17-year-old New Zealand singer Lorde, who is up for record of the year, song of the year and best pop solo performance for her hit Royals.
There are five nominations each for Canadian hip-hop star Drake and mastering engineer Bob Ludwig, who is rewarded for his work with Daft Punk and the Rolling Stones.

The Rolling Stones will go up against Sir Paul McCartney in the best rock song category. The Stones' Doom And Gloom, from their 50th anniversary album GRRR!, is up against Cut Me Some Slack, a collaboration between Sir Paul and the surviving members of Nirvana. The other nominees in that category are veteran metal band Black Sabbath, stadium rockers Muse and US singer-guitarist Gary Clark Jr, the only non-British nominee on that shortlist. Calvin Harris was up for best dance/electronica album for 18 Months and best dance recording for Sweet Nothing with Florence and the Machine's Florence Welch, but lost out on both. UK acts Duke Dumont and Disclosure were also unsuccessful nominees in the dance categories.

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