Top performers at Grammys 2015: Katy Perry, Madonna, Sam Smith

  • Reuters, Los Angeles
  • Updated: Feb 09, 2015 09:13 IST

British soul singer Sam Smith and R&B singer-producer Pharrell Williams led the early winners at Sunday's Grammy awards, while Katy Perry and President Barack Obama teamed up to take a stand against domestic violence at the music industry's top awards.

Minutes before Perry's performance of By the Grace of God, Obama delivered a pointed speech in a video message urging artists at the Grammys to help end domestic violence, saying "It's not OK and it has to stop."

Brooke Axtell, a survivor of domestic abuse, shared her personal story on stage, saying "authentic love does not silence, shame or abuse."

Perry's stripped-down act was a study in contrasts with her raucous, vibrant, prop-filled performance at the Super Bowl a week ago.

The current golden boy Sam Smith performed Stay With Me with Mary J Blige.

Pharrell Williams delivered an eclectic rendition of Happy on the Grammys stage, teaming up with film composer Hans Zimmer to channel a Grand Budapest Hotel vibe dressed as a bellhop and accompanied by pianist Lang Lang and gospel singers.

While the Grammy show televised on CBS awards a handful of winners, much of the show is dedicated to dynamic performances of the industry's biggest stars.

The night kicked off with an energetic performance by veteran rockers AC/DC singing classics Rock or Bust and Highway to Hell, the first of many throwback tunes.

Known to be a stage where veterans and current music stars come together, British singers Jessie J and Tom Jones delivered the first of many Grammy duets with The Righteous Brothers' classic 1964 song You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin.

Ed Sheeran and ELO performed a medley of Evil Woman and Mr. Blue Sky, with former Beatle Paul McCartney dancing along in the audience, while Irish singer Hozier and Annie Lennox brought the crowd to their feet with a medley of Take Me To The Church and I'll Put a Spell on You.

Madonna delivered a dance-filled performance of Living For Love, accompanied by male dancers in elaborate horned face masks and singers dressed in mariachi costumes. She ended the high-octane set by being suspected above stage in a harness.

No Doubt frontwoman Gwen Stefani and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, both judges on NBC's The Voice singing competition, teamed up for a heartfelt rendition of My Heart is Open.

All eyes are on Smith amid speculation that he could emulate Adele's 2012 six-win sweep of music industry's top honours handed out by the Recording Academy.

On the Grammys red carpet, where pop stars are known for making statements in bold outfits, Madonna split critics with the choice of a matador-inspired derriere-baring black lace Givenchy bodysuit.

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