Madonna performed ‘Open Your Heart’ at the Grammys on Sunday night after Queen Latifah officiated the mass wedding of 33 gay and straight couples during Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ performance of ‘Same Love,’ which has become a marriage equality anthem.
Lewis’ own sister Laura even was part of the mass wedding.
In a shocking twist, pop star Katy Perry caught a bouquet thrown into the crowd — no doubt sparking wedding rumors for her and John Mayer.
Dressed in a sparkling evening dress, Queen Latifah glowed as she introduced the duo at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The stage was decorated with neon lights that echoed architecture and stained glass work commonly seen in churches.
Macklemore (L), Ryan Lewis (2nd R), Mary Lambert (2nd L), Madonna (C) embrace on stage after performing the song ‘Same Love’ while Queen Latifah officiated over a mass wedding at the Grammy Awards
The performers also embraced Queen Latifah onstage during the performance, who acted as officiant
Katy Perry caught the bouquet during Sunday’s ceremony, expressing her support for the newlyweds
Couples teared up during the mass wedding on Sunday night
One of the couples at the ceremony were caught beaming as newlyweds
Macklemore was dressed in a velvet suit with a bolo tie, with vocalist Mary Lamber, wearing a sparking red evening gown, performed next to him, as did Trombone Shorty. Producer Ryan Lewis kept a low profile, standing further back on stage.
Queen Latifah acted as officiant for the couples that married during the live performance. They stood on platforms away from the stage in an array of formal and casual wedding attire as they exchanged rings.
One of the couples married during the awards ceremony included Spencer Stout and Dustin Reeser, whose Home Depot marriage proposal went viral, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. They are planning a ceremony later in the week for family and friends.
An intimate moment was captured from one bride during the Grammy’s mass wedding portion
One happy couple wore what appear to be matching sunglasses for the big day
Both passionate kisses and tender embraces were on display, as shown by these couples
Madonna soon joined the performers onstage, singing ‘Open Your Heart.’ The married couples moved along to the music, as a backing gospel choir joined in.
The newlyweds walked down the center aisle of the theater away from the stage as Mary Lambert joined Madonna for a duet performance.
Country singer Keith Urban was also seen with tears in his eyes during the performance.
Celebrity fans of the performance included Neil Patrick Harris and Ellen DeGeneres on Twitter.
Patrick Harris wrote, ‘My face hurts from smiling. That was one of the coolest things I’ve ever gotten to see. Much much love. Well done, Grammys.’
DeGeneres tweeted, ‘#SameLove was incredible. Love to @Macklemore, @RyanLewis, @MaryLambertSing @Madonna & @IAmQueenLatifah for a beautiful performance #GRAMMYs.’
Other Twitter users announced their support. One user wrote ‘I would never stop telling people Beyonce and Jay-Z were at my wedding. #GRAMMYs’
Snap happy: Anna Kendrick sneaked over with her smartphone in hand so she could take a candid shot of a couple having a dance
Others were critical of the performance. Prior to the event, Billy Hallowell from The Blaze tweeted ‘Why can’t the event just be about the music? So tired of political and social messages being infused into everything.’
Conservative pundit Todd Starnes, who has appeared on Fox News, also tweeted ‘The Grammys to make a mockery of marriage tonight.’
For Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, whose ‘Same Love’ was up for song of the year, the event took on a personal note with the participation of Lewis’s sister Laura, who married her boyfriend during the ceremony.
‘A night that is already tremendous for me, for the music,’ the Times quoted him as saying, ‘but to have my sister get married and my family there watching it — that makes it a whole other level of amazing.’
Lewis also said that the weddings ‘will be in our minds the ultimate statement of equality, that all the couples are entitled to the same exact thing.
Couples were beaming during the televised mass wedding
The wedding’s rehearsal took place on Saturday, where the couples walked up and down aisles near the main GRAMMY stage. Show producer Ken Ehrlich stated that putting the soon-to-be-wed pairs onstage ‘could be viewed as more exploitative.’
“It seemed like less of a ‘show’ than if I put them onstage,’ Ehrlich explained. ‘I don’t want them to feel as though they’re on parade,’ he told the New York Times.
The band was into it, so a casting agency was hired to find the couples, who at first were told only that the ceremony would take place on live television. The couples each signed confidentiality agreements — promising not to tell even their families.
Defending the multi-marriage stunt from critics against the Grammy wedding ceremony, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences president Neil Portnoy said, ‘I expect that people with all kinds of opinions might voice them, and that’s healthy, but we don’t need to stoop to the level of trying to find gimmicks and sensationalistic approaches to what we do.’
Earlier in the evening, the group won Best New Artist, Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance, and Best Rap Song