Paul McCartney came away with two Grammy Awards, including Best Song for his collaboration with the Foo Fighter’s Dave Grohl on “Cut Me Some Slack”, Led Zeppelin finally won their first Grammy for Best Rock Album with Celebration Day a live album recorded in London in 2007 and Black Sabbath won for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance for “God Is Dead”, from their comeback album 13. Two other musicians from that same era, Niles Williams, the guitarist for the R&B band Chic and lyricist Paul Williams won Grammys for their collaboration with Daft Punk, which included Record of the Year and Album of the Year. Cyndi Lauper also won a Grammy for Best Theater Album for her Broadway hit, "Kinky Boots".
For the first time in five years, the two surviving members of the Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunited on stage to perform McCartney’s “Queenie Eye” before a wildly appreciative crowd, which included Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon and George Harrison’s widow Olivia Harrison. Earlier in the show, Starr performed one of his most popular solo hits “Photograph” and just prior to the historic reunion, Julia Roberts presented the Beatles as a recipient of the 2014 Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award, previously announced at the Special Merit Awards ceremony on Saturday. Country music singer/songwriter Kris Kristofferson who penned "Me And Bobby McGee" and "Help Me Make It Through The Night" also was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
While it was a great night for McCartney and Ringo Starr, other aging rockers performed on stage or were awards presenters. Among the night’s most memorable performances were Chicago with four original members appearing onstage with Robin Thicke, Willie Nelson performing with Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard and Blake Shelton, Stevie Wonder singing “Get Lucky” with Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams, Cyndi Lauper introducing Carole King’s appearance with Sara Bareilles and Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham performing with Dave Grohl, Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age to close out the show.
Before announcing the winner of the Record of the Year, Steven Tyler belted out a raspy, impromptu tribute to Smokey Robinson by singing a few verses from “You Really Got A Hold On Me” and tributes to Lou Reed and Phil Everly were paid respectively by Jared Leto, with Billie Joe Armstrong and Miranda Lambert performing the Everly Brothers classic, “When Will I Be Loved”.
Although much of the night was devoted to current and rising stars such as Lorde and Macklemore, it was refreshing to see the Recording Academy showcase musicians who blazed the trail for countless numbers of bands and solo artists. A Beatles reunion tour isn’t likely nor is a tour of the surviving members of Led Zeppelin and their deceased drummer’s son, but it was especially pleasing to see some rock legends come away with the music industry’s most prestigious awards.