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UPDATE: NZ singer-songwriter Lorde has won two Grammys for Royals, her hit song co-written with Joel Little.
The 17-year-old Aucklander won Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance at the 56th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. In the latter category, she beat fellow nominees Brave by Sara Bareilles; When I Was Your Man by Bruno Mars; Katy Perry's Roar; and Mirrors by Justin Timberlake.
Lorde was also up for Record of the Year for Pure Heroine (the category was won by Daft Punk's Get Lucky), and best pop vocal album, for Pure Heroine (the category was won by Bruno Mars' Unorthodox Jukebox).
"This is the one thing I didn't expect the most tonight," she told the audience after winning her first Grammy.
Labour leader David Cunliffe offered, "Congratulations Lord! #Grammy" before quickly deleting his tweet and reposting a version with the singer-songwriter's name correctly spelled version.
Grammys: US critic pans top music awards as out of touch
EARLIER: The Grammys, run by the US National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, have been panned by a leading American newspaper as being out of touch with modern contemporary popular music.
The Grammys are being presented today (NZ time) with Devonport singer Lorde nominated in four categories. The live telecast starts on TV2 at 2pm.
The Wall Street Journal’s Jim Fusilli says the academy has a “distorted” view of contemporary rock, noting that while Lorde is up for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album, she is not nominated for Best New Artist.
“But it includes Ed Sheeran, who was a nominee in 2013 for Song of the Year – and by Grammy logic remains a new artist a year later –and Kacey Musgraves, who issued her debut album in 2002,” Fusilli writes.
He also notes the nominees for Best Rock Album includes efforts by Black Sabbath, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin and Neil Young with Crazy Horse, all of whom recorded their debut discs in the late 1960s.
“No one with even a passing interest in contemporary popular music would declare their latest releases to be among today's best rock records,” Fusilli says.
In the Americana category, the average age of the nominees – Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale, Mavis Staples and Allen Toussaint – is more than 63 years.
These choices, according to Fusilli, “prove the Recording Academy, when it moves away from the most commercial, of-the-moment pop, is only at ease with what it knows well. It's as if the effort to understand new music that may appeal to grownups isn't worth their time.”
He says the main aim of the awards is the selling and marketing of the recording industry.
“Hence, the mixed bag of Sara Bareilles, Daft Punk, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Taylor Swift as nominees for Album of the Year: one artist each in pop, EDM funk, hip-hop, rap and country. What a coincidence.”
As for the worst category, Fusilli suggests Best Country Song, “where the five nominated compositions feel like they were written by focus groups, resulting in such calculated pap as 'I Drive Your Truck' and 'Mama's Broken Heart.' Harlan Howard is believed to have said a country song is three chords and the truth. According to the Recording Academy, it's now an advertising jingle with a twang.”
However, Fusilli does commend the top Record of the Year category, which in addition to Lorde’s “Royal” features "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk with Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers; "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons; "Locked Out of Heaven" by Bruno Mars; and "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke with TI and Mr. Williams – “all catchy contemporary commercial pop, though ‘Radioactive’ sounds like Fun recorded near an industrial press (and yet was played more than 165 million times on Spotify).”