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Grammyhs 2015: Our 15 takeaway moments

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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The tagline has become "a Grammy moment to remember."

And with nearly three hours and 40 minutes of show on Sunday, Feb. 8, in Los Angeles, there were plenty of those -- as well as those we'll try to remember to forget.

Certainly nobody had a more memorable evening -- or, as he put it, "a really, really, really good night" -- than Sam Smith, the British newcomer whose four Grammys included Record of the Year and Song of the Year for "Stay With Me," Best New Artists and Best Pop Vocal Album for his debut "In the Lonely Hour." He also made a couple of the ceremony's best speeches, culminating by, like Adele before him, thanking the subject of his album "for breaking my heart, 'cause you got me four Grammys!"

But what of the rest? Here's 15 of the most memorable takeaway moments from the 57th annual Grammys ceremony:

The gracious pre-telecast acceptances for posthumous Grammys won by Johnny Winter, Joan Rivers and "20 Feet From Stardom" documentary co-producer Gil Friesen were sweet -- particularly the latter, accepted by Friesen's young son with assured composure.

AC/DC made its first appearance on a U.S. stage since November of 2009 and first U.S. network TV ever with a potent coupling of "Rock Or Bust" and "Highway To Hell" that showed the group is still in fine form despite plenty of turmoil during the interim.

Hozier was already slaying it with "Take Me To Church" when Annie Lennox joined him to finish that song and deliver her own rendition of "I Put a Spell on You" from the "50 Shades of Grey" film soundtrack.

The beatific look on Paul McCartney's face as he sang along to ELO's "Evil Woman" -- if only they had a microphone on him, too. (And what of calling it "Jeff Lynne's ELO?" Like co-founder Roy Wood was going to surface to complain about it otherwise?)

And though he was a bit player in "FourFiveSeconds" with Rihanna and Kanye West, McCartney's mere presence knocked the performance up a notch or two.

It was nice to see that Ed Sheeran, so amazing in his one-man shows, can play nice with others as he delivered his "Thinking Out Loud" with a group that included John Mayer, Herbie Hancock and Questlove before joining ELO -- er, Jeff Lynne's ELO -- for "Mr. Blue Sky."

Sometimes simple IS better; Brandy Clark and Dwight Yoakam's rendition of her "Hold My Hand," just two singers and two acoustic guitars, was a welcome change of pace from the night's mostly bombastic production numbers.

Sam Smith probably could have shown he deserved his Grammys by performing "Stay With Me" on his own, but guest Mary J. Blige made it that much more special -- especially in front of the big awards it won subsequently.

Also providing a song-bolstering guest appearance was Coldplay's Chris Martin, who dueted with Beck on a lovely "Heart is a Drum" shortly after the latter's "Morning Phase" was named Album of the Year.

Prince was unintentionally ironic in noting that "albums still matter" before presenting Beck's award, meanwhile. After all, we remember when they mattered enough for that to be the final award of the night.

Madonna raised a few eyebrows with her worked-over red carpet appearance, but her elaborately staged performance of "Living For Love" left no doubt that she's still the one Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and all the other pop divas should be chasing.

It was very satisfying to hear Rosanne Cash referred to as a three-time Grammy winner on Sunday -- as many as Beyonce and Pharrell, don'tcha know -- even before her stint as a co-host of the pre-telecast awards. Johnny's daughter took home one Americana and two American Roots trophies, all well-deserved for her 2014 album "The River & the Thread."

It's kind of inside baseball, but it was a hoot to see Hans Zimmer, best known for his film scores, playing guitar hero on Pharrell Williams train-wreck new version of "Happy." Suffice to say he cuts an unlikely figure for a shredder.

Sia's performance art treatment of "Chandelier" got plenty of head-scratching social media action. It actually looked like dancers Kristen Wiig and Maddie Ziegler were listening to Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" in their earbuds.

After showing Producer of the Year winner Max Martin in the crowd, we now know what he looks like in case we want revenge for all that grating pop music since '99.

Finally, whose idea was it to present the final award a half-hour before the telecast ended? Without any anticipation remaining, it rendered anticlimactic the In Memoriam segment -- which forgot Dick Wagner, Gary Grimshaw and Tangerine Dream's Edgar Froese -- and gospel-flavored performances by Beyonce and the duo of John Legend and Common.

The Detroit Tally:

Eminem brought his career Grammy total to 15 with two more trophies on Sunday -- Best Rap Album for "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "The Monster" with Rihanna. Jack White, meanwhile, took home the Grammy for Best Rock Performance for the title track from his 2014 album "Lazaretto" and shared in the Best Boxed Set Or Limited Edition Package award for "The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Vol. 1 (1917-27)," for which White was art director and released on his Third Man Records label. White now has 11 career Grammys.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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