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Lorde, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Daft Punk win key Grammys

The annual, glitzy Grammys have been held in Los Angeles, featuring a Beatles reunion and 33 on-air marriages, both gay and straight. German electronic giants Kraftwerk were honored with the lifetime achievement award.

The young Macklemore & Ryan Lewis claimed the best new artist award, also sweeping the prizes for best rap album (The Heist), best rap song "Thrift Shop" and best rap performance. The 17-year-old performer Lorde won the song of the year and best solo pop performance awards, both for her "Royals" single.

The 56th annual Grammy Awards, seen as the music industry's top awards ceremony, also found time to honor some more longstanding artists like French dance troupe Daft Punk.

Daft Punk won album of the year (Random Access Memories), and also claimed best record of the year and best pop duo/group performance for their collaborative "Get Lucky" with Pharrell Williams. The lifetime achievement award went to German electronic pioneers Kraftwerk, one of the most obvious musical inspirations for groups like Daft Punk that one could ever hope to hear.

The best rap/sung collaboration honor went to "Holy Grail" by Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake. Bruno Mars claimed the best pop vocal album prize for "Unorthodox Jukebox."

McCartney, past and present

The surviving Beatles Paul McCartney, on piano, and Ringo Starr, at the drums, also played a rendition of "Queenie Eye," only the pair's fourth performance since a 2002 concert to honor the late George Harrison.

McCartney was also among the winners on the night, sharing the best rock song award for "Cut Me Some Slack," which was dubbed a "Nirvana reunion." McCartney collaborated with Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic and the grunge band's "unofficial member" Pat Smear to produce the song. It was a labor of luck as much as love, according to Grohl, who once said the entire production “just came out of nowhere" within the space of three hours.

Kacey Musgraves claimed the best country album award for "Same Trailer Different Park" at the ceremony at the Staples Center, perhaps best known on a daily basis as the home of the Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball team.

Rapper-turned-actor LL Cool J presented the awards on Sunday night. The ceremony was also notable for the on-air marriages of some 33 couples, both gay and straight, with hip-hop star Queen Latifah presiding over the ceremonies.

msh/rc (AFP, dpa, Reuters)