Once word leaked about Macklemore and Ryan Lewis's 2014 Grammy Awards performance, it instantly became the performance to look for. (Take that, Beyonce and Jay Z.) On Sunday, the New York Times revealed Macklemore's plan to feature a massive on-air wedding while he sings his Grammy-nominated song "Same Love," the marriage equality anthem that was a huge hit this summer. Officiated by Queen Latifah, 34 couples from every persuasion — gay, straight, old, young, black, white — tied the knot on stage while Macklemore and Madonna belted out the popular and meaningful tune.
Before the show, Madonna told Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet that she agreed to perform with Macklemore because she really wanted to be a part of something so historical. As for Macklemore, the idea of a mass wedding has been floating around for a while. According to the Times, he was approached about a year ago with the idea; as they found couples to agree to a televised wedding, the adventurous love birds (and potential Macklemore fans) were not told until recently that said televised wedding would take place at the Grammys.
Also worth noting, Lewis's sister was part of the ceremony; she married boyfriend Alex on stage. Lewis told the Times, it's "a night that is already tremendous for me, for the music, but to have my sister get married and my family there watching it — that makes it a whole other level of amazing."
And amazing it was. When Madonna, dressed in a white tuxedo with a white cane and cowboy hat emerged, it was hard not to push out your lips and think aloud to no one in the room, "yeah, this is pretty cool." Madonna never sings her old stuff. Hearing "Open Your Heart" live was pretty exciting.
For the most part, the couples looked happy — that is, what we saw of them. The camera stayed mostly focused on officiant Queen Latifah and Madonna. As the couples left the floor, though, we saw the emotion on their faces, as well as the stars'. Katy Perry teared up as did Idol judge Keith Urban.
While the wedding was inspirational, not that many people were pleased that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis won Best Rap Song, "Thrift Shop"; Best Rap Performance, "Thrift Shop"; and Best Rap Album, The Heist. Ever since the nominations were announced two months ago, the debate over Macklemore's nomination has ranged from confusion — isn't he more of a pop star than a rapper? — to ire. As a white artist, many wondered if his race gave him an advantage over artists like Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar, and now that he's been given the gramophone, there will definitely be more discussion on the topic.
In the meantime, though, the first Grammys wedding went off without a hitch and it added a positive spin to a somewhat heated win. As "Same Love" says, "press play, don't press pause. Progress. March on."
Congrats to all the newlyweds. And to Madonna, too, who had the audacity to wear white to a wedding.