On the biggest night in music, performances from some of the industry’s brightest stars are expected to be a spectacle of grandeur. For Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, however, their appearance will take a stand for marriage equality. The seven-time nominees’ performance of their anthem “Same Love” will feature 34 weddings of a wide range of couples: gay straight, young and old. And for Ryan Lewis, whose sister is among those being wed, the night will be extra special.
“A night that is already tremendous for me, for the music,” Lewis told The New York Times. “but to have my sister get married and my family there watching it — that makes it a whole other level of amazing.”
During rehearsals for their performance at the Staples Center yesterday, the duo and show producers decided to have the couples march and get married in the aisles of the arena, for subtly. Still keeping with the show’s signature of notable collaborations however, Macklemore and Lewis will be joined onstage by Madonna, and Queen Latifah will officiate the ceremonies. Mary Lambert, the featured vocalist on “Same Love,” will also appear onstage.
Neil Portnow, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, assures The Times that the performance was not an exercise in exploitation.
“I expect that people with all kinds of opinions might voice them, and that’s healthy,” he said. “We don’t need to stoop to the level of trying to find gimmicks and sensationalistic approaches to what we do.”
And while 34 weddings are happening in front of them in the middle of Grammys, Lewis assured that it will be “will be in our minds the ultimate statement of equality, that all the couples are entitled to the same exact thing.”