Grammys 2014 Say "I Do" to Same Sex Marriage
Saturday, December 4, 2021
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The performance took place on a set reminiscent of a cathedral, in a homage to broadening marriage equality legislation across the United States. "This song is not a love song for some of us but for all of us", said Latifah during the performance. Backstage, she said: "I hope this is inspiration to all the rappers out there and hip hop artists out there that they can continue to tackle any subjects you want". 


The group wedding ceremony was met with a standing ovation by the Grammy crowd, with Keith Urban even caught teary-eyed by the roving camera. And many viewers at home also advocated a thumbs-up with tweets such as "so beautiful & so proud of couples not afraid to marry who they want... Straight gay black white... Love is Love."   


    Neil Portnow, president and CEO of Grammy organizer The Recording Academy, said he was proud of the ceremony, calling it "elegant, powerful and meaningful as we wanted it to be."  "So many of our ideas come from the creative community, from our artists," Portnow told reporters after the Grammys. "These folks wrote an incredible song. They have ideas about society and tolerance and fairness and that's their message."


    Neil Portnow, President of the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences  

    Portnow said organizers treated it like any other performance with dozens of extras by hiring a casting service to find couples willing to wed during a hip-hop song and on television in front of tens of millions of people. But one of the biggest achievements may have been keeping the wedding a secret until Sunday.  


    Word of the mass wedding did not come out until Lewis and Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich told the New York Times on Sunday. Ehrlich said that he and the hip-hop duo discussed the idea last fall. The report said that 34 couples would tie the knot. It is not known if one of the couples got cold feet.  Portnow also shrugged off questions about whether he was worried that the public would believe the Grammys were politicizing the awards show or risked forcing their beliefs on their television audience.  "We don't take a political position on anything," he said. "The statement that was made tonight was about people that want to be together."  "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 told the press ahead of the telecast.


    Latifah officiated using a temporarily granted legal power to marry in California, a licence which expired at midnight. A casting service had been employed to find the real-life couples, some of whom were same-sex partners, who would be willing to be married on stage on stage during a hip-hop song. 


    The song Same Love contains lyrics that explicity support equal rights for gay couples and condemn right-wing opposition to gay marriage: "The right-wing conservatives think it's a decision / And you can be cured with some treatment and religion... It's human rights for everybody, there is no difference".  The song ends with the "love is patient, love is kind" quotation from 1 Corinthians, a Bible passage popular at Christian weddings.  Macklemore and Ryan Lewis won four awards at the Grammys, the same number as Daft Punk.   The most significant Grammys win for the duo, whose single Thrift Shop reached number one and went platinum in the UK in 2013, was Best New Artist. The category was contested by Mercury award winner James Blake and controversial inclusion Ed Sheeran. Thrift Shop has sold over seven million copies in the US, and its video is the 13th most watched of all time on YouTube. It earned Macklemore and Ryan Lewis the Grammy for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap song, while their album The Heist won Best Rap Album.