Sam Smith Wins 4 Grammy Awards, Including Song Of The Year : The Record The British singer also won Best New Artist and Record of the Year, for "Stay With Me." Beck won Album of the Year for his subdued, folky Morning Phase.
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Sam Smith Wins 4 Grammy Awards, Including Song Of The Year

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Sam Smith Wins 4 Grammy Awards, Including Song Of The Year

Sam Smith Wins 4 Grammy Awards, Including Song Of The Year

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/384830761/384875932" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's get caught up with the Grammys. The music industry rolled out its red carpet for the 57th annual awards ceremony in LA last night. And I'm pretty jealous because my colleague Nathan Rott got to go backstage.

NATHAN ROTT, BYLINE: The big winner of the night was Sam Smith.

(SOUNDBITE OF 57TH GRAMMY AWARDS)

SAM SMITH: (Singing) Oh, won't you stay with me 'cause you're all I need.

ROTT: The 22-year-old British songwriter should have just stayed on stage at LA's Staples Center. He owned the night, winning two of the top honors - record of the year and song of the year. He also won best new artist and best pop vocal album for "In The Lonely Hour." Even he was surprised.

(SOUNDBITE OF 57TH GRAMMY AWARDS)

SMITH: Before I made this record, I was doing everything to try and get my music heard. I tried to lose weight and make - I was making awful music. And it was only until I started to be myself that the music started to flow and people started to listen, so thank you guys for accepting me to be just me. Thank you.

ROTT: Backstage after the show, Smith was having a hard time carrying all of his hardware.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SMITH: I feel like Kate Winslet at the Oscars right now. I've never done one of these. This is amazing.

ROTT: The singer wasn't the only artist to win multiple awards. Beck won three, including arguably the night's biggest surprise when he won album of the year, beating out favorites Smith and Beyonce. The announcement left even him looking shocked, especially when Kanye West started to storm the stage...

(SOUNDBITE OF 57TH GRAMMY AWARDS)

ROTT: ...As he did in 2009's MTV Awards, when Beyonce was beaten out by Taylor Swift. Beck seemed to want him to stay.

(SOUNDBITE OF 57TH GRAMMY AWARDS)

BECK: I need some help. Come back (laughter). Oh, my God.

ROTT: The stunt was one of the lighter moments in the three-and-a-half-hour telecast, which featured 23 different performances by more than 35 artists, starting with the old-timers AC/DC...

(SOUNDBITE OF 57TH GRAMMY AWARDS)

ACDC: (Singing) Highway to [expletive]...

ROTT: And ending with quieter performances of "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" by Beyonce and the Oscar-nominated song "Glory" from the film "Selma," in which John Legend and rapper Common inserted a line about police violence against African-Americans.

(SOUNDBITE OF 57TH GRAMMY AWARDS)

COMMON: (Singing) That's why Rosa sat on the bus. That's why we walk through Ferguson with our hands up, when they go down, we woman and man up. They say...

ROTT: It wasn't the evening's first reference. During Pharrell's performance of his song "Happy," dancers made the hands up, don't shoot gesture, and Prince made mention of it, too.

(SOUNDBITE OF 57TH GRAMMY AWARDS)

PRINCE: Like books and black lives, albums still matter.

ROTT: President Obama made an appearance at the Grammys, too, on video tape, to talk about domestic violence.

(SOUNDBITE OF 57TH GRAMMY AWARDS)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Tonight we celebrate artists whose music and message help shape our culture, and together we can change our culture for the better by ending violence against women and girls.

ROTT: A survivor of domestic violence, Brooke Axtell, went on stage after.

(SOUNDBITE OF 57TH GRAMMY AWARDS)

BROOKE AXTELL: Authentic love does not silence, shame or abuse.

ROTT: Her speech got resounding applause and gave a depth to the Grammys that was more than just the music. Nathan Rott, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF 57TH GRAMMY AWARDS)

KATY PERRY: (Singing) By the grace of God, there was no other way.

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