The 56th Annual Grammy Awards this year attracted 28.51 million viewers, essentially a modern-day record, the second largest audience in the last 21 years. CBS described it in a press release as “the second largest audience for the awards broadcast since 1993.” Since 1993, only the 2012 show attracted a larger audience due to the death of Whitney Houston less than 24 hours before. Award shows’ viewership have been on a steady increase in recent years, including the Oscars, Emmys, Tonys, Golden Globes and CMAs. One possible explanation for this is due to the fact that the Grammys is an exclusively live-performance show in an increasingly on-demand TV world.
Another factor is social media. Facebook had more than 13.5 million interactions which included posts, likes and comments about the Grammys. Twitter estimated roughly 15.2 million Tweets were posted about the Grammys during the East Coast airing; the largest Tweet-per-minute moments being when Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons performed, when Lorde won Best Pop Solo award and when Lorde performed. Lorde was also among the stars who gathered the most Tweets, alongside Taylor Swift and Beyoncé.
The Grammy Awards this year was also groundbreaking for more than just ratings. Daft Punk winning Album and Record of the Year for their album “Random Access Memories” and the single “Get Lucky” featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers was the first general category win by a primarily dance oriented album since the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack won in 1978.
“The time that went into this was like a Steely Dan record,” mastering engineer Bob Ludwig said in an interview at the Grammys. “The point of view was this record has to be perfect. There was no stone unturned, no dollar unspent.”
Lorde also made history by becoming the youngest artist to win in a general category other than Best New Artist when “Royals” was named Song of the Year.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis dominated the rap categories; they were nominated in for their song “Thrift Shop”. In the middle of their performance of “Same Love”, a song primarily about LGBT rights, Queen Latifah presided over the marriage of 33 couples — straight and gay.
The Grammys turned out to be a stellar show, despite being three and a half hours long, with 20 performances including great musical acts like Daft Punk, Beyoncé, Madonna and many more. It honored the hit singles that defined 2013, “Get Lucky”, “Royals”, “Thrift Shop”, “Radioactive”. It also celebrated and paid tribute to past achievements. The opening number by Jay Z and Beyoncé performing “Dunk in Love” and Beatles members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr performing “Queenie Eye” both showcase the pairs’ long history and great chemistry on stage.