(CNN) — The Grammy Awards often manage to single out rising artists, and this year that means Lorde, Kacey Musgraves and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
Lorde earned one of the big three awards, song of the year, for “Royals” at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. The honor is a songwriters’ award.
“Thank you to everyone who has let the song explode,” she said, also paying tribute to co-writer Joel Little.
She also won a Grammy for best pop solo performance.
Musgraves won for best country album.
Macklemore & Lewis, who were nominated for seven awards, won four in the early going at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards.
“I want to thank our fans, the people that got us on this stage,” said Macklemore in accepting the award for best new artist.
The pair also took home three in the preshow ceremony: rap album (“The Heist”), rap performance and rap song (both for “Thrift Shop”). Macklemore & Lewis beat out some tough competition. Their album was up against offerings from Drake and Kendrick Lamar, and “Thrift Shop” defeated songs by Jay Z and Kanye West.
Jay Z, who led all artists with nine nominations, did win best rap/sung collaboration for “Holy Grail,” a collaboration with Justin Timberlake.
Addressing his daughter Blue, Jay Z said, “Daddy just got a gold sippy cup for you.”
Macklemore & Lewis’ “Same Love,” a song written in support of same-sex marriage, will be singled out in a major Grammy event: a mass wedding featuring 34 couples taking the stage of Los Angeles’ Staples Center.
Queen Latifah will officiate, and Madonna will serve as maid of honor. (If she wanted to, she could bring her own wedding dress.)
The Grammys are often about such outlandish and talked-about moments. Think about Elton John’s duet of “Stan” with Eminem — which was a retort to criticism of Eminem’s homophobic lyrics — or Lady Gaga’s jump into a celebrity meat grinder. It’s almost enough to turn the honors themselves into background noise.
This year has been no exception. A highlight was a performance of “Get Lucky” featuring Pharrell Williams, Stevie Wonder, Nile Rodgers and song originators Daft Punk, who lurked in a “control room” in their robot helmets. “Get Lucky” won a Grammy for pop duo/group performance, and Daft Punk won two early Grammys for its album “Random Access Memories,” one for its engineering, the other in the dance electronic category.
Both Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award for their work with the Beatles, played. Starr did his “Photograph” with musicians including Peter Frampton and Kenny Aronoff, and McCartney did his new song “Queenie Eye” with a group that included Starr.
There are more than 80 Grammy categories, so most awards are given out before the show.
Adele, a big winner two years ago, won yet another Grammy, this time for her “Skyfall” theme song. Other winners include Ziggy Marley (reggae album); Stephen Colbert (spoken word); and Terri Lyne Carrington (jazz instrumental album).
Gold and black dominated the gowns on the red carpet, though Paris Hilton — in a side-baring white number — was among the most showy.
Producer and vocalist Pharrell Williams, who showed up wearing an oversized forest ranger-style hat, earned plenty of fashion attention on Twitter. In fact, @PharrellHat had more than 5,000 followers and @PharrellsHat had more than 400 within an hour of the show starting.
The show is hosted by LL Cool J and airing on CBS.
By Todd Leopold