The GRAMMY Awards’ red carpet is one of the longest in the entertainment industry – not just in terms of the actual physical size (enough to fit 300-plus media outlets), but the time it stays open – from 1 p.m to well after 5 p.m. Of course, most of the action takes place towards the end, but there was plenty to gawk at throughout, like these 15 things seen and heard throughout the night.
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1. The chatter among music industry executives waiting for their artists to arrive: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ early win for Best Rap Performance (a victory that did not sit well with hip-hop purists who assert that “Thrift Shop” broke on pop radio) and the scuffle between Sharon Osbourne and Maroon 5 manager Jordan Feldstein at Saturday night’s Clive Davis/Recording Academy-sponsored pre-GRAMMY gala. The two apparently got into a heated exchange which resulted in a plate of food and a bottle of water being thrown at Feldstein’s head.
2. The advantage of being in charge of the GRAMMY telecast is that you can count on the roster of A-list stars to give you a hand. Longtime GRAMMY executive producer Ken Ehrlich asked Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, who were sitting in the front row, to sing happy birthday to his friend Tom only mere seconds before the live broadcast. The rock icons graciously sang a few bars, then it was off to start the show.
3. Kathy Griffin, who won for best comedy album and only the third woman after Lily Tomlin and Whoopi Goldberg to receive the honor, did not waste a single minute backstage in the media center. Off she went running for her time in front of the cameras. “Thank you, thank you,” the comedienne said as she ran into the ladies room for a quick break. The win was probably more meaningful than being slapped in the rear the night before by Miley Cyrus at the Clive Davis party. Either way, we venture to bet that all these bits will likely make it into her stand up act.
4. Oh snap! When Steve Martin was asked about his favorite awards moment in his career from a member of the press backstage, the veteran entertainer quickly shot back, “It’s irrelevant.” Instead he just wanted to focus on the day’s win. “Let’s just say that this has been a very exciting day.” Martin said that winning a GRAMMY for best American roots song (“Love Has Come for You”) was made easier thanks to his collaborator singer/songwriter Edie Brickell. Next up for the pair is a new musical that’s currently being workshopped. The project is about a woman who “tells the secret of her life” in a story that jumps back and fourth in time around North Carolina in 1945.
5. Robin Thicke arrives just as the clock strikes 4:20. Coincidence?
6. Lest we forget the five-letter music powerhouse that is Adele, the British singer wins her 10th GRAMMY for “Skyfall.”
7. The family that dresses together… Yoko Ono and her son Sean Lennon were a sea of hats as they arrived to the red carpet. But before marching down towards press, they got their look together.
8. That wasn’t the only hat-wearing parent-child combo — Madonna and her son made their own fashion statement in matching head decor.
9. Best Metal Performance winners Black Sabbath were backstage to talk with reporters moments after Ozzy Osbourne flubbed his lines on stage. When asked about what he was supposed to say in introducing Ringo Starr, Ozzy cracked, “How the fuck should I know?” Reporters roared with laughter, but as usual, the Prince of Darkness charmed everyone. adding that the Beatles, “They turned me onto music.”
10. In other Ringo happenings, Imagine Dragons recounted meeting the drummer on the red carpet. Said Starr: “I’ve got your album!”
11. Leave it to Willie Nelson to spread a message close to his heart: marijuana legalization. “It’s just a matter of time,” he told Billboard on the carpet.
12. The Dave Grohl and Paul McCartney bromance continues with a Grammy win for “Cut Me Some Slack,” though it may be a bit one-sided. As Grohl explained to reporters, “I have two daughters and they’re at that age where they’re starting to listen to music,” he said. “I got them this Beatles box set — vinyl — and the generational aspect of that music is phenomenal. Not too many things last forever.” As for how the collaboration came together? Grohl explained that he simply called McCartney and asked him to jam.
13. Following her win for Song of the Year, Lorde hugs Taylor Swift, with whom she’s developed a close friendship in recent months.
14. Said Country Album of the Year winner Kacey Musgraves of her just won GRAMMY Award: “I’ve always wanted to hold these things.” Her year, she added, was “indescribable — like a fast roller coaster. … And to start 2014 like this is incredible. I’m just living vicariously through my mother.”
15. Ever the jokester, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler heads towards Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney’s seat and cracks, “This is the sober section.” Said McCartney: “And he’s sober, what was he like before?”
16. Queen Latifah spilled the secret to how long it took to prepare is the person presiding over the 33 marriages on the Grammy telecast. She was informed only two weeks ago that she would be a commissioner. “It’s something that I took very seriously,” the entertainer said. “I had to be sworn in as a commissioner by the state of California. “I think [these couples] should be celebrated tonight … to have your wedding in front of a million people is really momentous.” A reporter backstage asked if Latifah could preside over her wedding someday, but the rapper/talk show host had one condition: “It must happen before midnight” otherwise the reporter would have to find another option.