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US rappers Macklemore and Ryan Lewis win big at Grammys

Los Angeles: US rappers Macklemore and Ryan Lewis took an early lead at the Grammys on Sunday, winning four prizes including best new artist at music's version of the Oscars.

French electro duo Daft Punk also secured three quick awards at the 56th annual Grammy Awards, with the big prizes — record, song and album of the year — still to be claimed.

Other early winners included Paul McCartney — who was due to receive a lifetime achievement award with fellow surviving Beatle Ringo Starr — who shared the best rock song award with Foo Fighters founder Dave Grohl.

But the first major award of the night went to Macklemore & Lewis for best new artist, while their debut album "The Heist" won best rap album, best rap song ("Thrift Shop") and best rap performance.

They were also up for album of the year, one of the three major prizes set to be announced at the climax of the three-and-a-half hour show in Los Angeles.

Daft Punk won best dance/electronica album for "Random Access Memories," best pop duo/group performance for catchy single "Get Lucky," and best engineered non-classical album.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar, pop diva Taylor Swift and chart-topper Justin Timberlake were also among those vying for prizes at the Staples Center.

The Grammys show, music's biggest night, kicked off with first couple of hip hop Beyonce and Jay-Z offering up a sultry performance of their "Drunk in Love."

New Zealand teen songstress Lorde was next up with her mega-hit "Royals," which earned her the statue for best pop solo performance. She is also up for song and record of the year.

Grammys sweetheart Swift gave an energetic rendition of "All Too Well." Rockers Imagine Dragons collaborated with Lamar on a spirited mash-up of their hits "Radioactive" and "M.A.A.D. City".

The show was set to feature some eye-popping collaborations, including rockers Metallica with acclaimed Chinese pianist Lang Lang.

In another likely spectacular moment, 34 couples were expected to marry during Macklemore & Lewis's performance of their song "Same Love," which uses rap to tackle the issue of same-sex marriage, according to media reports.

Other performers at the awards show include a who's who of music's finest, ranging from Katy Perry and Robin Thicke to veterans Carole King, Chicago and Madonna.

Going into Sunday's show, Jay-Z scored the most nominations with nine nods, followed by California hip-hop star Lamar, Macklemore & Lewis, Timberlake and Pharrell Williams with seven each, while Canadian rapper Drake scored five.

Tipped by many for coveted Record Of The Year was Daft Punk's "Get Lucky," but rival nominees include Lorde's "Royals," "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons and Hawaiian crooner Bruno Mars's "Locked Out Of Heaven."

Thicke's "Blurred Lines," made infamous by Miley Cyrus's twerking at last year's MTV Video Music Awards show, is also competing for the evening's top prize.

In the Album of the Year category, Swift's "Red" will compete with Daft Punk's "Random Access Memories," Macklemore & Lewis's "The Heist," Lamar's "Good Kid, M.A.A.D City" and Sara Bareilles's "The Blessed Unrest."

Shortlisted for Song of the Year — for songwriters — were "Just Give Me A Reason" sung by Pink, "Locked Out Of Heaven" sung by Mars, "Roar" sung by Perry, "Royals" sung by Lorde and "Same Love" sung by Macklemore & Lewis.

British songstress Adele — who swept the Grammys top prizes in 2012 — shared a prize Sunday, for best song written for visual media for 007 movie "Skyfall," with songwriter Paul Epworth.

Led Zeppelin won best rock album for "Celebration Day," recorded at their 2007 live reunion show at London's O2 Arena, in the pre-telecast section of the show, while the Gipsy Kings and South Africa's Ladysmith Black Mambazo shared the world music Grammy.

The show will climax with a rock supergroup featuring Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Grohl and Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham.

 

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