LOS ANGELES - It took an idea, a casting service and dozens of people keeping a secret for organizers of music's Grammy Awards to pull off one of Sunday's biggest surprises at the annual ceremony.
Thirty-three couples, some of whom were same-sex partners, were married at once during the performance of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' pro-gay rights song, "Same Love," giving the awards show a heavyweight emotional and political punch.
The marriages were officiated by Queen Latifah, and Madonna - dressed in a white suit with a matching white cowboy hat and cane - made a surprise appearance to accompany the song's featured singer, Mary Lambert.
Neil Portnow, president and CEO of Grammy organizer The Recording Academy, said he was proud of the ceremony, calling it "elegant, powerful and meaningful as we wanted it to be."
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