Macklemore & Ryan Lewis cap off an enormous year at tonight’s GRAMMYs, garnering nominations in multiple categories — including for Song of the Year for “Same Love.” The duo will perform the marriage-equality anthem during the ceremony, and during the performance, dozens of couples will be wed in an on-air ceremony.
According to the New York Times’ ArtsBeat, 34 couples from different orientations and backgrounds — gay, straight, of different races and so on — will be married during the “Same Love” performance at the GRAMMYs Sunday night (Jan. 26).
In an interview, Lewis, whose own sister will be part of the ceremony in getting married to her boyfriend, said that the weddings “will be in our minds the ultimate statement of equality, that all the couples are entitled to the same exact thing.”
Queen Latifah is planned to be the officiant for the ceremony, while the rap/production duo performs with Seattle-based singer-songwriter Mary Lambert, the singer of the song’s hook, and one special guest revealed yesterday: Madonna.
“I expect that people with all kinds of opinions might voice them, and that’s healthy,” Neil Portnow, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, said of the decision, though he emphasized that the GRAMMYs don’t see the wedding ceremony as any sort of stunt. “We don’t need to stoop to the level of trying to find gimmicks and sensationalistic approaches to what we do,” he said.
The wedding’s rehearsal took place on Saturday at the Staples Center, where the couples walked up and down aisles near the GRAMMY stage — where they’ll actually be married, as show producer Ken Ehrlich stated that putting the soon-to-be-wed pairs onstage “could be viewed as more exploitive.”
“It seemed like less of a ‘show’ than if I put them onstage,” Ehrlich explained. “I don’t want them to feel as though they’re on parade.”
The GRAMMYs will be broadcast tonight at 8 p.m. on CBS.