News / Arts & Entertainment

Grammy Awards to Feature Live On-Air Mass Marriage

Recording artist Macklemore performs onstage at The 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards Salute to Industry Icons with Clive Davis, on Jan. 25, 2014 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Recording artist Macklemore performs onstage at The 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards Salute to Industry Icons with Clive Davis, on Jan. 25, 2014 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Reuters
Dozens of couples will marry on air during Sunday night's live broadcast of the music industry's annual Grammy Awards as  Macklemore & Ryan Lewis perform their
nominated song "Same Love," which has become an anthem in the
campaign for legal gay marriage, the New York Times reported.

Queen Latifah will officiate at the nuptials, with pop diva Madonna performing the song with the hip hop duo and featured vocalist Mary Lambert, the Times said.

Lewis said that the weddings, including 34 couples of various ages and races, some gay, some straight, "will be in our minds the ultimate statement of equality, that all the couples are entitled to the same exact thing," the report said. "We're serious about this," the Times quoted Ken Ehrlich, the longtime producer of the Grammys, as saying.

Ehrlich, noting that the segment reflected his own personal beliefs - he has a gay daughter - said, "I would not want to make a broad statement that it represents the views of the academy or the CBS television network," which broadcasts the
awards live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles at 8:00 p.m. EST (0400 GMT on Monday).

Addressing the potential for controversy, Neil Portnow, the president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and  Sciences, said "I expect that people with all kinds of opinions might voice them, and that's healthy," the Times said.

The idea for the segment originated last autumn when Ehrlich and the duo met to discuss a Grammys performance. Since the singers' concerts have occasionally featured onstage marriage proposals, Ehrlich suggested a wedding.

A casting company sought couples who were initially told only that the ceremony would take place on live television. The report said they learned of the Grammys' involvement only in recent weeks, and had to sign confidentiality agreements.

For Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, whose "Same Love" is up for song of the year, the event took on a personal note with the participation of Lewis's sister Laura, who will marry her boyfriend during the ceremony.

"A night that is already tremendous for me, for the music," the Times quoted him as saying, "but to have my sister get married and my family there watching it - that makes it a whole other level of amazing."

The group is nominated for a total of seven Grammys.

  • Taylor Swift arrives at the 56th annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on Jan. 26, 2014, in Los Angeles.
  • Katy Perry arrives at the 56th annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on Jan. 26, 2014, in Los Angeles.
  • Kacey Musgraves, winner of the best country song award for "Merry Go 'Round", walks on stage at the pre-telecast of the 56th annual GRAMMY Awards on Jan. 26, 2014, in Los Angeles.
  • Carey Hart, left, and Pink arrive at the 56th annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on Jan. 26, 2014, in Los Angeles.
  • Madonna arrives at the 56th annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on Jan. 26, 2014, in Los Angeles.
  • Ariana Grande arrives at the 56th annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on Jan. 26, 2014, in Los Angeles.
  • Christine Teigen, left, and John Legend arrive at the 56th annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on Jan. 26, 2014, in Los Angeles.
  • Miranda Lambert, left, and Blake Shelton arrive at the 56th annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on Jan. 26, 2014, in Los Angeles.
  • Miguel arrives at the 56th annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on Jan. 26, 2014, in Los Angeles.
  • Paris Hilton arrives at the 56th annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on Jan. 26, 2014, in Los Angeles.
  • Daft Punk arrives at the 56th annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on Jan. 26, 2014, in Los Angeles.

You May Like

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings

Joe Taylor sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to talk about his distinction as New York’s “Subway Idol,” and how he beat out thousands for that title. Joe performs several songs from his new CD, “Anything’s Possible.”