Longtime LGBT supporters Madonna and Queen Latifah weren't the only ones who joined Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for their performance of the gay rights anthem "Same Love" at the 2014 GRAMMY Awards. Thirty-three couples—some gay, some straight—were married live on-air during the GRAMMYs broadcast on Sunday night.
It turns out Queen Latifah is more than a rapper, singer, actress and TV host: She's also a certified marriage officiant. After Macklemore, Ryan Lewis and Mary Lambert performed an impassioned version of "Same Love," Latifah took the stage and officially united 33 real-life couples in marriage by the power vested in her by the state of California.
"We are gathered here to celebrate love and harmony," Latifah began. "I'm delighted to see the faces of 33 couples who have decided to celebrate their vows with us here in Los Angeles with everyone around the world as witnesses. It is my distinct honor to ask you to exchange rings to signal a commitment to one another and to a life shared with the music of love."
After making 33 marriages official at once, Queen Latifah stepped aside for the Queen of Pop. Madonna saluted the couples with a performance of her '80s classic "Open Your Heart" with a gospel chorus backing her (not unlike "Like a Prayer"). You could see the tears running down the newlyweds' faces as they danced to Madge and walked down the GRAMMY aisle.
It was not only the biggest moment of music's biggest night, but easily the most meaningful. In an evening about trophies and competition, it was an unusually real, beautiful experience to watch.
During their acceptance speech for Album of the Year, even the typically-silent Daft Punk lauded the marriage ceremony, calling it "the height of fairness and love" (through their human interpreter, of course).
Watch our GRAMMY red carpet interview Lambert where she talked about wanting to smooch Madge during their performance (it sadly didn't happen), and check out the list of 2014 GRAMMY winners. Quick warning to Kendrick fans who didn't watch the GRAMMYs, though: Macklemore dominated the rap categories. But don't get too mad, because K. Dot and Mack were texting nothing but mutual love before the GRAMMYs went down.
FYI: "Same Love" has also been reinterpreted by Angel Haze, who rapped a heartbreaking freestyle about her pansexuality over the track last year.