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SAM! SAM! SAM! (AND BECK!): GRAMMY ACTION AS IT HAPPENED

Sam Smith Scores Best New Artist, ROTY, SOTY; Beck Takes Album

Columbia's AC/DC kicks off the show with some old-school rock bombast, following "Rock or Bust" with the classic "Highway to Hell." We, meanwhile, are on a highway to drunk. Audience members are wearing red devil horns to commemorate the moment.

Host LL Cool J strides out with a nod to his "Going Back to Cali." 

Paul McCartney, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Ed Sheeran and others get spotlights in the front rows.

Republic's Ariana Grande sings "Just a Little Bit of Your Heart." Her in-ear monitors are bejeweled! As for the performance? She fuckin' killed it.

Taylor Swift, repslendent in blue, shouts out to her friends in the Best New Artist category, advises the losers to "shake it off." Sam Smith, in his red jacket, scores! Thanks, "Nick [Raphael], Jo [Charrington], Steve [Barnettt]" at Capitol. "I won a Grammy!"

Republic's Ariana Grande, intro'd by Anna Kendrick, sings "Just a Little Bit of Your Heart." Her in-ear monitors are bejeweled! As for the performance? She fuckin' killed it.

Sir Tom Jones and Jessie J sing for Trustees Award winners Barry Mann & Cynthia Weill, with their "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'." Grammy karaoke breaks out in the crowd (hello, John Legend and HAIM) and at editorial HQ. We just caught a glimpse of Marty Bandier at the lip of the stage.

Best Pop Solo Performance goes to "Happy" by Pharrell Williams; it's his third win. He seems shocked; "I was so prepared for everyone else...to walk away with that award." He thanks i Am Other's Karen Veasey, Ron Laffitte, everyone at Columbia, "one of the greatest labels that's ever been built."

Miranda Lambert takes the stage, definitely bringing the rock 'n' roll glitz, replete with pyro; she performs "Little Red Wagon," was penned by Audra Mae.

First-time winners Pentatonix join Barry Gibb and hail the Bee Gees' Lifetime Achievement Award, then award Best Pop Vocal Album to Sam Smith's In the Lonely Hour. "It was only until I started being myself that the music started to flow and people started to listen." 

Katy Perry's very pink Cover Girl ad is some sumptuous eye candy, if you don't mind us saying so.

Kanye West comes out to perform an emotional "Only One."

Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj introduce Madonna, who takes the stage fo ran elaborate production number.

Beck, who nabs Best Rock Album, thanks Steve Barnett.

Smokey Robinson and Nile Rodgers, having acknowledged George Harrison's Lifetime Achievement honor, award Best R&B Performance to "Drunk in Love" by Beyonce f/Jay Z. Bey thanks God, Blue and her Bey-hive.

Ed Sheeran takes the stage with John Mayer, Questlove, Herbie Hancock and friends for "Photograph."

"Evil Woman" by ELO has Sir Paul McCartney on his feet and clapping; Sheeran joins in for "Mister Blue Sky." Even Beyonce was on her feet for the power pop.

Performing Maroon 5's "My Heart Is Open," Adam Levine shares the stage with Gwen Stefani.

Hozier looks like he's having an out-of-body experience as he plays guitar behind Annie Lennox. Their duet set is a show highlight.

LL shouts out Marty Bandier, saluted as an icon of publishing, with his NARAS award noted.

Song of the Year contender Hozier performs  "Take Me to Church" with guest Annie Lennox, segueing into her "I Put a Spell on You," which features prominently on the Fifty Shades of Grey ST. Hozier looks like he's having an out-of-body experience as he plays guitar. The audience gives 'em a standing O. Definitely a goose-bumps moment. 

Nick Jonas and Meghan Trainor award Best Country Album to Miranda Lambert.

What seems like an Imagine Dragons Grammy performance is actually the band playing their new song "Shots" as a song-length Target ad. Has this been done before? We don't think so.

Pharrell, dressed as a bellhop and joined by Lang Lang and Hans Zimmer as well as countless dancers, performs "Happy."

Neil Portnow gaves props to show producer Ken Ehrlich.

A taped message from President Obama talks about domestic violence, enlists artists to help "create a culture where violence isn't tolerated." Brooke Axtell, an abuse survivor, gives a riveting speech enjoining others enduring such mistreatment to stand up for themselves.

Katy Perry takes the stage for "By the Grace of God."

Ed Sheeran has jumped to #1 on the singles chart and #2 on the album chart at iTunes, while "Stay With Me" by Sam Smith moves up to #8 on the singles side.

What seems like an Imagine Dragons Grammy performance is actually the band playing their new song "Shots" as a song-length Target ad. Has this been done before? We don't think so. #MoreMusic

Grammy winners Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga perform "Cheek to Cheek."

Usher takes the stage to sing "If It's Magic," a sneak peek of the upcoming Grammy Stevie Wonder special. Stevie strides out to provide his trademark harmonica.

There's a striking immediacy to Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul McCartney's "FourFive Seconds." This could be a game-changer for RiRi, who seems more real than ever before right now.

Keith Urban introduces Nashvile renegade Eric Church, who performs "Give Me Back My Home Town." Next comes Brandy Clark, joined by Dwight Yoakam, who's quietly become an eminent figure in cutting-edge country. The crowd is feeling it.

There's a striking immediacy to Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul McCartney's "FourFive Seconds." This could be a game-changer for RiRi, who seems more real than ever before right now.

Taylor brings out Mary J. Blige and "someone I feel very lucky to be able to call my friend, "Sam Smith. The pair perform "Stay With Me," with help from an orchestra and choir. More goosebumps. Damn.

Juanes, with the first Spanish-language performance of the evening, is killin' it. 

For a number with the singer's back to the audience, "Chandelier" is an electrifying highlight.

Beck wins Album of the Year, presented by the legendary Prince. A huge achievement for the Alternative icon. Kanye pretends to do an I'm-a-let-you-finish moment, then jokingly sits back down. Beck thanks Steve [Barnett], his arranger dad, and his kids.

Shia LaBoeuf introduces Sia, with Maddie Ziegler and Kristin Wiig as her bewigged dancers, for "Chandelier." For a number with the singer's back to the audience, it's an electrifying highlight.

Enrique Iglesias presents Song of the Year, which goes to "Stay With Me." "I'm having a really, really, really good night," says Smith, who hands the mic to co-writer Jimmy Napes.

After winning Record of the Year, Sam Smith thanks "the man who broke my heart," about whom his album was written, for his multiple Grammys.

Dave Grohl salutes the retiring David Letterman, whose music fandom is legendary: "You'll always be #1 on our Top 10 list." He then brings out Beck and Chris Martin

Stevie Wonder and Jamie Foxx hit the stage, and Stevie gets another standing O. The pair then present Record of the Year to "Stay With Me." Oh, Sam. He thanks "the man who broke my heart," about whom his album was written, for his multiple Grammys.

Neil Portnow and Jennifer Hudson come out; Neil speaks up for protecting artists' rights and livelihoods in the era of new technologies.

A salute to the many performers who passed away this year. Shit, we're still not over Robin Wiliams. Or Joe Cocker.

LL and Gwyneth Paltrow introduce Beyonce, who sings the gospel classic "Precious Lord." Queen Bey brings out John Legend and Common for "Glory."

And we're done. It's party time .. especially if your name is Steve Barnett.

For a list of pertinent Grammy wins, go here.

 

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