While singer and rapper, Macklemore, and his musical partner, Ryan Lewis, perform their song, Same Love, on the 2014 Grammy Awards, Queen Latifah marries over 30 couples. The icing on the cake? Madonna comes out on stage during the group wedding to serenade the newlyweds.
On the Grammy stage on Sunday night, live from The Staples Center in Los Angeles, the stage presence of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis combined with three females, communicated the message of the song, Same Love. Macklemore, real name Ben Haggerty, starts the performance and is then joined by Mary Lambert, the woman who provided the vocals on the radio version of Same Love.
As Mary Lambert belts out her parts of the song and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis deliver their musicality, Queen Latifah, who introduced the performance, walks on stage. 34 couples, lined up facing one another, then commit to a life together and enter into marriage, officially ordained by Queen Latifah herself. Throughout the group wedding, Madonna is singing a slow version of Open Your Heart. The celebrity-packed crowd is on its feet, embracing the message of the song and joining in to the energy of the room. Emotions were high for the newly married couples, for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, and for Queen Latifah and Mary Lambert, who both identify as homosexual women.
The Grammy Awards are the major event of the year for musicians, music producers, engineers, and other music professionals, and to have a performance that carried a strong message of change and equality brought emotion into the Staples Center Sunday night. Following the performance, Twitter and other forms of social media exploded with the story, and with comments and reactions to the ceremony. Tweeters believed that Same Love should have won for Song of the Year, which was won by Lorde for Royals, that the song and message of equality sent through the performance was amazing, and that hashtags like #Equality and #EqualMarriage were appropriate while sharing opinions.
Queen Latifah tweeted her reaction to the performance as well by saying that she is so grateful to be involved in such a “special moment” and that her desire to be there was for the happiness and bright futures of the newly married couples.
To pull off a performance like Same Love on the 2014 Grammy Awards, where Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, Mary Lambert, and Madonna perform live and Queen Latifah marries over 3o couples, some same-sex and some opposite-sex, a lot of planning, production, good timing, and secrecy on the part of everyone involved with the show was vital. The story did leak that Madonna would join Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, but the rest remained hidden.
According to Reuters, the Recording Academy hired a third-party service to cast couples who wanted to be wed on the Grammy stage while Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, and Madonna sang Same Love and who would commit to confidentiality before the broadcast. All participants kept the event private, so the element of surprise could add to the message these people so strongly believe. With seven Grammy nominations and four wins (Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance for Thrift Shop, Best Rap Song for Thrift Shop, and Best Rap Album for The Heist) this hip-hop duo is entertaining fans while spreading the message they believe the world needs to hear.
By K. Corrine Van Vliet