Los Angeles: Step aside winners. The Grammy Awards have long belonged to performers and unexpected moments - and Sunday`s show was no different with Kanye West rushing the stage, Pharrell Williams` orchestral bash and a poignant plea to end domestic violence.
- Kanye, Again
West, in perhaps a tongue-in-cheek gag on his infamous outburst rushing the stage in protest at the 2009 Video Music Awards, approached album of the year winner Beck on stage before flashing a quick grin, waving his hand and retreating.
"That`s what`s great about live television," said Neil Portnow, the president of the Recording Academy.
"Whatever happens is part of the culture of the people in the room," he added.
- Fifty Shades of Madonna
In the night when the music industry crowned British soul singer Sam Smith with a leading four Grammys, including song and record of the year, viewers at home were treated early on to Madonna`s burlesque homage to bullfighting.
Pop music`s 56-year-old grand dame of scandalizing spectacle, performed her new song "Living for Love" in red and black lingerie with 20 dancers wearing bulls` horns and rhinestone-covered faces twirling the singer about. She was later joined by a choir of more than two dozen singers.
- Dancing #SirPaul
Paul McCartney - who later performed "FourFiveSeconds" with West and Rihanna - gave the audience a light moment on a mostly somber night by dancing alone in the audience to ELO`s Jeff Lynne playing the 1975 hit "Evil Woman."
With the camera up close, the former Beatle stopped, looked around and sat down with a sheepish smile, drawing laughter and sending "Sir Paul" trending on Twitter.
- It`s on us
The show took a serious turn half-way through with President Barack Obama delivering a taped address urging the audience and TV viewers to help stop domestic violence, through the ItsOnUs.org campaign.
Then Brooke Axtell, a survivor of domestic abuse, took the stage urging victims of abuse to seek help and telling her own story about how her ex-boyfriend had threatened to kill her. Katy Perry finished the segment with the inspirational anthem "By the Grace of God."
- Civil Rights
Williams, dressed as a hotel bellboy in shorts, found a way to recast his uptempo international smash "Happy" as a soaring orchestral song with Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang, film composer Hans Zimmer on guitar and a choir of 20.
But the singer-producer`s allusions to the protest chant "hands up, don`t shoot" and hooded sweatshirts about the killings of unarmed black teens cast the shadow of civil rights, the predominant theme at the show`s close.
Prince introduced the album of the year award saying "black lives matter."
The evening ended with Beyonce singing the Civil Rights-era spiritual, "Precious Lord, Take My Hand," and John Legend and rapper Common sang their Oscar-nominated song "Glory" from the soundtrack to the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic "Selma."