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The Grammys Go Daft; Is This a New Grammy Era? (Winners List!)

Surprises Sprinkled with Head-Scratchers

daftpunk grammy front The Grammys Go Daft; Is This a New Grammy Era? (Winners List!)

Daft Punk receives the Record of the Year award from Pharrell Williams. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Daft Punk and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis may mark a turning point in the Grammy Awards that finally signals a move into the 21st Century by stodgy Recording Academy voters. For, once they actually seemed up on the latest music.

Whether the awards represented the best in popular music, as always, will be widely debated until next year’s show.

But Grammy voters got a few things right, while other awards tasted good, but were far less filling.

In the things right column, the list starts with Daft Punk, a French electronic music duo Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter. Who knew?

While they aren’t exactly new to music, they’ve been banging around since the early 1990s, their sound taps into the popularity of club and dance music. In that regard, their latest album, Random Access Memories, dropped at the right time.

Oddly the group gained visibility after appearing in a Gap television commercial with Juliet Lewis. Winning Album of the Year is a major coup; winning Record of the Year, is crazy.

They also won Best Pop/Duo Performance, somewhat less surprising, given their elaborate stage shows.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, on the other hand, was a little more predictable. Given the way they took the music world by storm this year with their white-boy rap, The Best New Artist award was kind of a given.

But their sweep of top rap awards–Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song, and Best Rap Performance–was over the top, given the competition.

In the album cagtegory, Academy voters passed over Drake’s Nothing Was the Same, Jay Z’s Magna Carta… Holy Grail, Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City and Kanye West’s Yeezus.

Magna Carta…Holy Grail and Yeezus are both considered rap opuses by two masters of the game and are destined to become classics. Was The Heist really better?

Even Macklemore felt queasy about winning: “It’s weird and sucks that I robbed you,” he wrote on Twitter in a message to Lamar.

Another welcome surprise, Taylor Swift was passed over for Album of the Year for her hugely successful work Red, proving commercialism doesn’t always triumph.

Swift was also aced out of the Best Country Album an Best Country Song categories by surprise winner Kacey Musgraves for Same Trailer, Different Park (album) and “Merry Go Round” (song).

Academy voters finally figured out that Swift is no longer a country artist; she’s moved solidly into the pop mainstream.

This year’s rock categories proved the exception to the rule. They became a nesting place for legacy acts from the 1960s and ’70s, when most of the Academy voters probably came of age.

In the Rock Album category, David Bowie, was the only legacy act who deserved to be there for his album The Next Day. It was all new music. The winner was a shocker, Led Zeppelin’s Celebration Day. A one-off rehash of a 2007 concert, it was completely off our radar.

Also, how Gary Clark Jr. landed in the rock category is a mystery. He won a Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Song, but is considered a blues singer.

But that’s the Grammys.

Check out the winners in major categories below, let us know your thoughts and follow TheImproper on Twitter for the latest music and awards season news.


2014 Grammy Winners, Major Categories (Winners in Bold)

Guide: ♣ Our Pick; ♥ Favorite; ♦ Front Runner; ♠ Dark Horse


ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories ♠
Sara Bareilles – The Blessed Unrest
Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist ♣ ♥ ♦
Taylor Swift – Red

RECORD OF THE YEAR
Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams – “Get Lucky”
Imagine Dragons – “Radioactive” ♠
Lorde – “Royals” ♣
Bruno Mars – “Locked Out of Heaven”
Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell Williams & T.I. – “Blurred Lines” ♥ ♦

SONG OF THE YEAR
Lorde – “Royals” ♣ ♥
Pink feat. Nate Reuss – “Just Give Me a Reason”
Bruno Mars – “Locked Out of Heaven” ♠
Katy Perry – “Roar”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Mary Lambert – “Same Love” ♦

BEST NEW ARTIST
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ♣ ♥ ♦
James Blake
Kendrick Lamar ♠
Kacey Musgraves
Ed Sheeran

POP MUSIC

BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM
Bruno Mars – Unorthodox Jukebox
Lana Del Rey – Paradise ♠
Lorde – Pure Heroine ♣
Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines ♦
Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience – The Complete Experience ♥

BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE
Lorde – “Royals” ♥ ♣
Sara Bareilles – “Brave”
Bruno Mars – “When I Was Your Man” ♠
Katy Perry – “Roar”
Justin Timberlake “Mirrors” ♦

BEST TRADITIONAL POP VOCAL ALBUM
Michael Buble – To Be Loved ♣ ♦
Tony Bennett & Various Artist – Viva Duets ♥
Gloria Estefan – The Standards
Cee Lo Green – Cee Lo’s Magic Moment
Dionne Warwick – Now ♠

BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE
Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams – “Get Lucky” ♠
Pink feat. Nate Reuss – “Just Give Me a Reason”
Rihanna feat. Mikky Eiko – “Stay”
Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell Williams & T.I. – “Blurred Lines” ♣ ♥
Justin Timberlake feat. Jay Z – “Suit & Tie” ♦

ROCK MUSIC

BEST ROCK ALBUM
Led Zeppelin – Celebration Day
Black Sabbath – 13
David Bowie – The Next Day ♣
Kings of Leon – Mechanical Bull ♦
Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork ♥
Neil Young With Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill ♠

BEST ROCK PERFORMANCE
Imagine Dragons – “Radioactive” ♦
Alabama Shakes – “Always Alright”
David Bowie – “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” ♣
Led Zeppelin – “Kashmir” ♥
Queens of the Stone Age – “My God is the Sun”
Jack White – “I’m Shakin’” ♠

BEST ROCK SONG
Paul McCartney – “Cut Me Some Slack” ♥
Gary Clark Jr – “Ain’t Messin Round”
The Rolling Stones – “Doom and Gloom” ♣ ♦
Black Sabbath – “God Is Dead?”
Muse – “Panic Station” ♠

COUNTRY MUSIC

BEST COUNTRY ALBUM
Kacey Musgraves – Same Trailer, Different Park
Jason Aldean – Night Train
Tim McGraw – Two Lanes of Freedom ♠
Blake Shelton – Based on a True Story
Taylor Swift – Red ♣ ♥ ♦

BEST COUNTRY SONG
Kacey Musgraves – “Merry Go Round”
Taylor Swift – “Begin Again” ♥ ♦
Lee Brice – “I Drive Your Truck” ♠
Miranda Lambert – “Mama’s Broken Heart” ♣
Blake Shelton – “Mine Would Be You”

BEST COUNTRY SOLO PERFORMANCE
Darius Rucker – “Wagon Wheel”
Lee Price – “I Drive Your Truck” ♠

Hunter Hayes – “I Want Crazy” ♣
Miranda Lambert – “Mama’s Broken Heart” ♥ ♦
Blake Shelton – “Mine Would Be You”

BEST COUNTRY DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE
The Civil Wars – From This Valley ♣
Kelly Clarkson feat. Vince Gill – “Don’t Rush” ♥
Little Big Town – “Your Side of the Bed”
Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift, and Keith Urban – “Highway Don’t Care” ♦
Kenny Rogers with Dolly Parton – “You Can’t Make Old Friends” ♠

R&B MUSIC

BEST R&B ALBUM
Alicia Keys – Girl on Fire ♣ ♥
Faith Evans – R&B Divas
John Legend – Love in the Future ♦
Chrisette Michele – Better ♠
TGT – Three Kings

BEST URBAN CONTEMPORARY ALBUM
Rihanna – Unapologetic ♣ ♥ ♦
Tamar Braxton – Love and War
Fantasia – Side Effects of You ♠
Salaam Remi – One: In the Chamber
Mack Wilds – New York: A Love Story

BEST R&B PERFORMANCE
Snark Puppy with Lalah Hathaway – “Something”
Tamar Braxton – “Love and War” ♠
Anthony Hamilton – “Best of Me” ♣ ♥
Hiatus Kaiyote feat. Q-Tip – “Nakamarra”
Miguel feat. Kendrick Lamar – “How Many Drinks?” ♦

BEST R&B SONG
Justin Timberlake – “Pusher Love Girl” ♣ ♦
Anthony Hamilton – “Best of Me” ♠
Tamar Braxton – “Love and War”
PJ Morton feat. Stevie Wonder – “Only One”
Fantasia feat. Kelly Rowland and Missy Elliot – “Without Me” ♥

HIP-HOP RAP MUSIC

BEST RAP ALBUM
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – The Heist ♥ ♦
Drake – Nothing Was the Same
Jay Z – Magna Carta… Holy Grail ♣
Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City
Kanye West – Yeezus ♠

BEST RAP SONG
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – “Thrift Shop” ♣
ASAP Rocky feat. Drake, 2 Chainz, and Kendrick Lamar – “F***in’ Problems”
Jay Z feat. Justin Timberlake – “Holy Grail” ♥ ♦
Kanye West – “New Slaves” ♠
Drake – “Started From the Bottom”

BEST RAP PERFORMANCE
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Wanz – “Thrift Shop” ♥ ♦
Drake – “Started From the Bottom”
Eminem – “Berzerk” ♣
Jay Z – “Tom Ford” ♠
Kendrick Lamar – “Swimming Pools (Drank)”

BEST RAP/SUNG COLLABORATION
Jay Z feat. Justin Timberlake – “Holy Grail” ♠
J. Cole feat Miguel – “Power Trip”
Jay Z feat. Beyonce – “Part II (On the Run)” ♥ ♦
Kendrick Lamar feat. Mary J. Blige – “Now or Never” ♣
Wiz Khalifa feat. The Weeknd – “Remember You”

DANCE MUSIC

BEST DANCE RECORDING
Zedd feat. Foxes – “Clarity”
Duke Dumont feat. AME & MNEK – “Need U”
Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch – “Sweet Nothing” ♣ ♥
Kaskade – “Atmosphere” ♠
Armin Van Buuren feat. Trevor Guthrie – “This Is What It Feels Like”

BEST DANCE ALBUM
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories ♣ ♥ ♦
Disclosure – Settle
Calvin Harris – 18 Months
Kaskade – Atmosphere
Pretty Lights – A Color Map of the Sun ♠

SOUNDTRACKS

BEST SONG WRITTEN FOR VISUAL MEDIA
Adele – “Skyfall” from Skyfall ♥
Coldplay – “Atlas” from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ♣ ♦
Jessie J – “Silver Lining” from Silver Linings Playbook
Colbie Caillat feat. Gavin DeGraw – “We Both Know” from Safe Haven
Lana Del Rey – “Young and Beautiful” from The Great Gatsby ♠
Regina Spektor – “You’ve Got Time” from Orange Is the New Black




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