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Queen Latifah backstage at the 2014 Grammy Awards

Queen Latifah at the 2014 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles
Queen Latifah at the 2014 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles
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The 56th Annual Grammy Awards took place on Jan. 26, 2014, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Here is what this Grammy presenter said backstage in the press room.

QUEEN LATIFAH

You officiated over the marriage ceremony for several couples tonight at the Grammys. Are you an ordained minister?

I didn’t get ordained, but I’m a commissioned, sworn in.

What did it mean to you to oversee that ceremony?

It meant a lot, because two of them were two friends of mine. I’m really happy for them. I’m really happy for all the couple tonight. Everybody should get to fall in love with someone and make a life together and be protected under the law. I’m all for that and I’m glad to be able to support it and be a part of it. I think that’s where the future is going. We need to be there right now.

Do you feel you made history on TV with that marriage ceremony?

I’m used to making history on TV. [She laughs.] That’s right. “Living Single.” It’s great to be a part of something so special. It’s great that it’s on television. I’m on television every day on “The Queen Latifah Show,” but to be able to do something special for people, to be able to change someone’s life, which is what I love to do every day, that is what I was able to be a part of tonight. So I’m so thankful to be a part of that. You have no idea. Now, it’s just light, because it was very serious. I took it very, very seriously. I was really honored to be a part of it.

Do you plan to officiate at any other marriage ceremonies?

No, but it could be my new gig. I could get some paper doing that. I just got to get my band together.

What were your initial thoughts when you heard about this marriage ceremony at the Grammy Awards?

I was like, “What? You’re going to do what? Really? How many? OK.” I had to digest it. And once I did, I was like, “This is fantastic. This is amazing.” And then, for two of my friends to be a part of it, it really hit home.

I just feel so special. There’s not a lot of things that make you feel special. This was very special. I didn’t enter into it lightly. I thought about it.

This is their night. This is not all about TV and ratings. This is someone’s commitment to each other for life. I don’t need to follow the hype. This is something real for me. And so I’m excited. I’m really happy to have been a part of it.

What do you think about Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ song “Same Love,” which celebrates tolerance of everyone, regardless of their sexuality?

For me, the hip-hop era that I come from was able to speak about everything going on socially, whether you just wanted to party all night or whether you wanted to bring down apartheid in South Africa. So I come from hip-hop that speaks to change, that speaks to what’s going on in the world, that lets us know what’s happening in different countries and in our own neighborhood.

I’m honored that it was a hip-hop group, a big crossover group, that was the ones to usher in that change. I hope it’s an inspiration to other hip-hop artists to really step out of the box, keep doing themselves and be creative. We’ve seen some wonderful hip-hop represented on the stage tonight. And that’s what I like to see.

What’s your favorite throwback jam?

My favorite throwback jam? “Good Times” by Chic.

For more info: Grammy Awards website

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