Sam Smith Night at the Grammy Awards Show
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Sam Smith's soulful sound and heartbreaking songs resonated with fans - and his breakthrough was solidified when he took home three of the top four Grammy Awards on Sunday, though Beck earned a surprise win for album of the year.
"I want to thank the man who this record is about ... Thank you so much for breaking my heart because I have four Grammys," said the British singer, who won best new artist, song and record of the year for "Stay with Me" and best pop vocal album for "In the Lonely Hour."
Smith, along with Beyonce, Pharrell and Ed Sheeran, lost album of the year Sunday to Beck's "Morning Phase," which also won best rock album. Smith said backstage he was surprised Beyonce didn't win, but said Beck deserved to walk away with the trophy.
Kanye West, who famously interrupted Taylor Swift when she beat Beyonce at the MTV Video Music Awards, briefly walked onstage when Prince announced Beck's name. Some in the audience seemed shocked, from Pharrell to Questlove to Beck himself.
Beck's album debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and sold about 300,000 units. He last won a Grammy in 2000.
Pharrell, who was the top nominee with six along with Beyonce and Smith, walked away with three awards, as did Rosanne Cash. The rapper-singer-producer won best pop solo performance for a live version of "Happy," released in 2013 as well as best music video for the song and 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.
The awards at the Staples Center featured a number of collaborative performers: Beck sang onstage with Chris Martin; Beyonce was pitch perfect as she performed "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" before Common and John Legend performed the Oscar-nominated "Glory" from "Selma;" Actress Kristen Wiig danced with teen Maddie Ziegler while Sia sang "Chandelier" with her head turned: and Hans Zimmer and Lang Lang joined Pharrell for a dramatic and awkward performance of "Happy."
Rihanna gave an impressive vocal performance of "FourFiveSeconds" with Paul McCartney to her right and Kanye West to her left. Her hair slicked back, she rocked a black suit like her co-stars. She won best rap/sung collaboration for "The Monster" with Eminem.
Katy Perry, in all white, sang the ballad "By the Grace of God" after a woman who had been abused talked about getting help and moving on with her life. A video of President Barack Obama appeared before she spoke, and he encouraged artists to help out.
"It's on us, all of us, to create a culture where violence isn't tolerated," he said.
Another serious moment came when Prince appeared onstage to introduce album of the year.
"Albums - you remember those? They still matter. Like books and black lives, they still matter," he said.
Madonna, dressed as a matador, performed "Living for Love" atop a platform surrounded by a plethora of background dancers wearing bull masks. A choir did most of the singing, while Madonna danced and the audience clapped in unison. She ascended into the air as the performance finished.
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." And Annie Lennox was a powerhouse when she sang "I Put A Spell On You" and joined Hozier for "Take Me to Church," which was nominated for song of the year.
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."
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.
Cash, who won all of her awards in the Grammy pre-show, was excited backstage after winning back-to-back Grammys.
"Reagan was president last time I won a Grammy," said Cash, who won best American roots performance, American roots song and Americana album. "I just showed up for work for 35 years and this is what happened."
Double winners included Eminem, Chick Corea, the "Frozen" soundtrack and Kendrick Lamar, who lost in seven categories last year. The performer marked a redemption by taking home best rap performance and rap song for "i."
2015 Grammy Winners
Best New Artist - Sam Smith
Album Of The Year - Beck, Morning Phase
Record Of The Year - Sam Smith, “Stay With Me”
Song Of The Year - Sam Smith, “Stay With Me”
Best Pop Solo Performance - Pharrell
Best Pop Vocal Album - Sam Smith, In The Lonely Hour
Best R&B Performance -Beyonce & Jay Z, “Drunk In Love”
Best Rock Album - Beck, Morning Phase
Best Country Album - Miranda Lambert, Platinum
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 Rock Performance - Jack White, “Lazaretto”
Best Metal Performance - Tenacious D, “The Last In Line”
Best Rock Song - Paramore, “Ain’t It Fun” Hayley Williams & Taylor York, songwriters
Best Alternative Rock Album - St. Vincent, St. Vincent
Best Rap Performance - Kendrick Lamar, “I”
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration - Eminem Featuring Rihanna, “The Monster”
Best Rap Song - Kendrick Lamar, “I”
Best Rap Album - Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP2
Best Traditional R&B Performance - Robert Glasper Experiment Featuring Lalah Hathaway & Malcolm-Jamal Warner, “Jesus Children”
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”, Frozen
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, “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 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 World Music Album - Angelique Kidjo, Eve
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
Best Children’s Album - Neela Vaswani, I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education And Changed The World (Malala Yousafzai)
Best Reggae Album - Ziggy Marley, Fly Rasta
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 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 - Ashley Kahn, John Coltrane – Offering: Live At Temple University