No other performance at last night’s Grammy Awards was more powerful and jaw dropping than Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love” performance as they were joined on stage by singers Mary Lambert and Madonna for a mash-up of their hit and Madge’s “Open Your Heart.” However, the real kicker came when Queen Latifah joined them on stage to officiate 34 gay, straight and interracial marriages on national TV, marking one of the most unforgettable moments in Grammy history.
News of the monumental performance began to circulate last week when news spread that Madonna would be performing with Macklemore and Lewis, but it wasn’t until the day of the show that rumors began to leak that weddings would happen during the performance.
“I expect that people with all kinds of opinions might voice them, and that’s healthy,” Neil Portnow, the president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, said in an interview with The New York Times.
Although many have questioned if this was just a stunt done for ratings, Portnow and Ken Ehrlich, the longtime producer of the Grammys, assured beforehand that producers were serious about the weddings.
“We don’t need to stoop to the level of trying to find gimmicks and sensationalistic approaches to what we do,” Mr. Portnow said.
Erlich explained that the wedding idea came about last year while having dinner with Macklemore and Lewis about a possible performance. The rap duo was immediately on board with the idea and Queen Latifah was recently deputized by Los Angeles County to perform the weddings. She’ll even sign the marriage certificates for each couple.
For Macklemore and Lewis, the performance had personal meaning for them as Lewis’ sister, tied the knot with her boyfriend, Alex, alongside the 33 other couples as they wed in the aisles in front of the stage.
“A night that is already tremendous for me, for the music,” Lewis said, “but to have my sister get married and my family there watching it — that makes it a whole other level of amazing.”
And amazing is certainly what their performance was. We commend and applaud Macklemore, Lewis, Madonna, and Latifah for not only helping those couples to express their love, but to show the whole world that, as the song says, all love is the same, regardless of gender. – nicholas robinson