Awards? What awards? A few Grammys were handed out beforehand, Rolling Stone reports, but the show is first and foremost ... a show. Beyonce kicked things off by getting sexy on a chair and giving the censors a challenge with "Drunk in Love." Jay-Z joined in to rap and get cozy with his wife—and get the house moving, especially Taylor Swift, who was caught jamming in the crowd. And then:
- LL Cool J kicked off the hosting yet again—and dared to mention Swift's passion for writing about her exes, but she smiled this time (she's gotten upset before).
- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis won the first award: Best New Artist. They proudly mentioned how they recorded independently and found success outside the system.
- Lorde followed with a performance of "Royals." An unintended touch of irony here? Some thought she was the year's best new artist.
- Hunter Hayes debuted a new song as quotes played behind him from Lady Gaga, Johnny Depp, and Steve Jobs.
- Award No. 2, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, went to Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams for "Get Lucky." Accepting with Williams, Daft Punk wore their helmets and kept quiet.
- Katy Perry got hip-hoppy with a performance of "Dark Horse" on a spooky forest set, where she dressed as a witch and was burned at the stake. Rapper Juicy J pitched in for added authenticity.
- Robin Thicke played some classic material from '70s supergroup Chicago with, who else, Chicago. Thicke went on to sing "Blurred Lines," and no, nobody twerked this time.
- Keith Urban and Gary Clark Jr. teamed up for a collaboration before John Legend chilled with a seemingly effortless performance of "All of Me" at the piano.
- The award for Best Rock Song went to Paul McCartney and Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl for "Cut Me Some Slack."
- A long-gowned Taylor Swift sat at a piano and conveyed just the right mix of longing and anger in singing "All Too Well."
- Pink came twirling over the audience for an acrobatic performance of "Try" that morphed into "Just Give Me a Reason" with Nate Ruess.
- Best Pop Solo Performance went to Lorde for the song she sang just a few minutes before: "Royals." As she put it, "This is the one thing that I did not expect the most tonight."
- Donning shades and a sparkling black jacket, Ringo Starr sang "Photograph" as black and white photos slid across screens behind his band.
- Best Rap/Sung Collaboration went to Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake for "Holy Grail."
- LL Cool J gave a shoutout to Def Jam Artists on their 30th anniversary, then relinquished the stage to Kendrick Lamar with Imagine Dragons. They sang the band's "Radioactive" and Lamar's "m.A.A.d city" as smoke streamed onstage and, yet again, Taylor Swift danced in the front row.
- Amid neon cacti, with lights sparkling on her boots, Kacey Musgraves sang "Follow Your Arrow."
- Paul McCartney sang "Queenie Eye" at a multicolored standup piano with support from Ringo Starr on drums.
- Bruno Mars won Best Pop Vocal Album for Unorthodox Juke Box—and dedicated the award to his mother, who died of a brain aneurysm this year. "I know you're watchin'," he said.
- Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson joined forces on the Johnny Cash tune "Highwayman," then played backup to Merle Haggard and Jake Shelton on "Okie From Muskogee" and "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys."
- Cute cowgirl outfit and all, Musgraves took the stage and accepted Best Country Album for Same Trailer Different Park.
- Wow, Stevie Wonder hit the stage with Pharrell Williams to sing Daft Punk's "Get Lucky." Daft Punk appeared as "Le Freak" was blended in, and all the front-row stars were on their feet.
- Sara Bareilles and Carole King teamed up on a pair of grand pianos for an upbeat, soulful rendition of "Brave." Then they gave the Song of the Year award to "Royals"—it wins again! Lorde and co-writer Joel Little looked happily stunned.
- In an only-on-the-Grammys matchup, classical pianist Lang Lang and Metallica played the band's classic "One" as the shadows of World War I soldiers passed slowly behind them.
- Record of the Year went to Daft Punk for "Get Lucky." Pharrell Williams spoke for them onstage: "I suppose the robots would like to thank..." he said for a laugh, and added, "Honestly, I bet France is really proud of these guys right now."
- In another odd pairing, Miranda Lambert teamed up with Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong for "When Will I Be Loved," wrapping up a tribute to musicians and music-industry figures who passed away in 2013.
- Daft Punk won Album of the Year for Random Access Memories. Spunky-haired producer Paul Williams said the artists asked him to comment on the night's marriage ceremony, which was "as elegant and as classy as the Grammys have ever been."
- The show closed with a hard-driving performance by Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham, and Dave Grohl.