From Justin Timberlake starting the show to Mumford & Sons 'f***ing awesome' win, all the Grammys' best off-camera moments
Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z performed in black and white, Elton John dueted with Ed Sheeran, Prince presented an award with a diamond-studded cane, and Bruno Mars was joined on stage by Sting, Rihanna, and Damien Marley as part of an all-star Bob Marley tribute. Meanwhile, Katy Perry shamelessly plugged her own eyelash line, fun. took home the award for Best New Artist, Gotye claimed the Grammy for Record of the Year and Mumford & Sons took home the top honors with Album of the Year. That, however, wasn’t all that happened at this year’s Grammy Awards.
Here are 15 things we caught at The 55th Annual Grammy Awards when the cameras weren’t rolling:
1. Mumford & Sons on their "awesome" win: As the ceremony went on, Mumford & Sons weren't expecting Sunday to be their night. "We had six nominations and during the pre-telecast one after another went to (other bands)," Marcus Mumford said backstage. "We resigned ourselves (to not winning). Last year was Adele's year and this year will be the Black Keys'. It's not just bullshit. We really didn't care about winning." But he's glad it worked out. "It's fucking awesome," he said.
2. Behind-The-Scenes on “Big Easy Express:” When it came time to make a film about the 2011 Mumford & Sons-led Railroad Revival Tour, director Emmett Mallow knew he had to stay true to the music. "Look at what these bands wear, look at the instruments they play, the music they're obviously influenced by," he said. "Digital didn't match the spirit of what we were doing.” That spirit earned the Grammy for Best Long Form Music Video -- but despite the reward, giving up 5Ds for film didn't make shooting easy. "We were just like ping-pong balls," Mallow explained, with the crew running from train car to car to capture the bands' frequent performances.
3. Stars taking photos with stars: Fans weren’t the only ones trying to sneak photos with their favorite artists out on the red carpet. Wiz Khalifa asked to take a pic with Chuck D, while Tyler, The Creator seized the opportunity to sneak one in with Jack White, J. Lo, Ne-Yo, Flo Rida, Timbaland ... and just about anyone else he could corner.
4. Carrie Underwood will never make a pop album: When asked if she had plans to make a pure pop album anytime soon, Carrie Underwood said, “No. I love country music. That’s always been what I sang. I just want to sing good songs, write good songs. If it ever crosses over, I just want it to do so on its own, then we can give country music to a different audience.” Underwood also explained the story behind her hologram-infused dress: “They can do a lot of amazing things with projectors these days, and we had a dress specially made so it would be a dress but have a nice projection screen. I said, ‘I should take that home and we should watch movies.'"
5. Brian Wilson crushes dreams of a Beach Boys reunion: Following his win in the Grammy pre-telecast category for Best Historical Album for “SMiLE Sessions,” Brian Wilson said "probably not" to a backstage question of more Beach Boys reunion dates. However, the group's reunion isn't entirely over: "We're going to try to get an album together."
6. Gotye reveals that he’s been collecting “weird instruments:” Following his win for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "Somebody That I Used to Know," Gotye told the press that he’s been collecting a variety of strange instruments in order to inspire his next project. “I bought this one huge very space-age organ called the Yamaha EX42, which came out in 1970. Kimbra saw it recently. We did some writing in my studio," he said backstage. "I was just Delhi, in India, and I found a couple of electronic Tabla drum machines that are pretty sweet so I’m looking forward to playing with those.”
7. The Civil Wars temporarily reunite: The Civil Wars, who cancelled a tour in 2012 due to “irreconcilable differences,” won a pre-broadcast Grammy for Best Song Written for Visual Media – “Safe & Sound” ("The Hunger Games"), on which they collaborated with Taylor Swift. John Paul White and Joy Williams climbed on stage with Swift to accept the award, however, the pair didn't look ready to hit the road again any time soon, after making individual acceptance speeches and limited eye contact.
8. Skrillex monopolizes the Nokia Theatre stage: Skrillex, who took home three Grammy Awards at last year’s ceremony, left this year’s Grammy pre-telecast ceremony with three more to add to the collection – Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical for his reworking of “Promises” with Nero, Best Dance Recording with “Bangarang," featuring Sirah, and Best Dance/Electronica Album for “Bangarang.” Following his speech for Dance Recording, he called up “the whole crew” and an army of his business colleagues, including Tim Smith (Blood Company Management), 12th Planet and Kill The Noise, who is signed to his label, OWSLA. “None of the rappers showed up, so we had to come a little deep,” Skrillex joked.
9. A “crazy” music video in the works: Later in the press room, Skrillex mentioned that he is headed to Rio de Janeiro next week to shoot "a crazy video" with A$AP Rocky for "Wild for the Night." “I read the treatment once and I don’t want to think about it. We’ll see what happens. I always take on every detail on my videos but this is coming from their side,” he said. He referred to the collaboration with Rocky being “organic,” adding, “It was just us hanging out, having a good time talking about music and deciding ‘Let’s make a cool song. Let’s hang out and do it.” He thanked everyone for their support, said, “Crush those emos,” and then exited the stage.
10. Baby-making music is in the works: With a new album looming, The-Dream told reporters that he tries his best to “make honest love-making CDs.” He should soon find himself with all the inspiration he needs, as the songwriter/producer explained that he plans to head to Paris to work with Kanye West in March. Though Jay-Z ragged on Dream for his "swap meet" hat, the Grammy winner thinks he was secretly jealous. “The funny thing is, he said something about my hat but B had just said that she wanted both of these hats. I think he was messing with both of us.” The Dream said he picked up one of the hats from the swap meet, and the other from Spencer’s, which he referred to as a place where “kids should not go.” “I was in there for another thing – me and my girl – and I picked this up," he joked.
11. Little Big Town hit the water: Little Big Town gave Capitol Records a nice shout-out backstage for their help with their Grammy Award-winning song “Pontoon.” “We wouldn’t be here without them...I mean technically we’d be here but they got our music out for the fans,” Karen Fairchild said. She went on to discuss playing around with the song in the studio to find a version that excited them. “We messed with taking the reverb off the vocal on ‘Pontoon’ and pulling it down a little bit and it didn’t feel the same. We didn’t know if anybody would play it because it was like that but the fans seem to dig it.” Phillip Sweet chimed in, “They like motor boating in reverb,” which brought the room to laughter.
12. Justin Timberlake tells crowd of musicians, "Take your seats!": One minute and fifteen seconds before the live Grammy broadcast started, ushers scrambled to get everyone into their seats. Sting was called out for not being seated yet and quickly scurried into his. But it took JT to bring sitting back. “Hey everybody, can you please take your seats?" he urged the crowd. "The 55th annual Grammy Awards are about to begin.”
13. Bonnie Raitt talks staying “badass:” When asked how she maintains her “super badass-ness” backstage at the Grammys, Bonnie Raitt had a heartfelt answer: “Playing in a band... we just finished eight months and I thought I’d be glad to get off the road for a minute – you know we’re going out again for the rest of the year – but I got home and after about two weeks, I was going ‘And? I’m going to do what tonight? Sit around and watch TV and make dinner?’ It’s in my blood. I love touring right now – 42 years later, more than I did when I started out. It’s as much fun as it seems like when you see us up there.” She also added that she’d be seeing us 20 years later, still rocking but with a walker.
14. A "Ho Hey" sing-a-long: The broadcast went to commercial break while the Grammy-nominated Lumineers were setting up for their performance. Before the band went on, a production coordinator instructed the audience to sing-a-long to the “Ho Hey” portion of the song. The crowd gave a lackluster effort – many of them using the stage transition as an excuse to hit the restroom. During the actual performance, however, the musician-clad crowd quickly remembered their parts and added their vocal abilities to the song’s chorus.
15. Juggling Grammys: After winning Record of The Year, Gotye and Kimbra headed to the photo area to make the media rounds. The photographer arranged Gotye in front of the backdrop and handed him his Grammys, one by one. Gotye struggled to hold all three awards and there was a quick scramble to remedy the situation, as the next winners were in the hallway waiting for their photos. The photographer finally set Gotye’s Grammy collection on floor in front of him and snapped the shot. The “Somebody That I Used To Know” singer left the room with Kimbra, whose dress was decorated with pearls. As she walked through the hallway, her pearls clanged on the floor loudly, making her presence known to the whole backstage area.