It was heartfelt and moving, to be sure, but as Lewis and Latifah share, it was a moment that had a more personal connection than you may know.
“To be up here, and more importantly, to be able to celebrate ‘Same Love’ and have the marriages on stage,” Lewis tells reporters backstage at the Staples Center on Sunday (Jan. 26). “You know, my sister getting married tonight as well.”
“I still have chills now. I’m excited to watch it back,” he continues. “It was amazing to work with Madonna, to work with Queen Latifah. Two legends. … We’re just grateful to be here.” (Madonna joined the trio, along with “Same Love” vocalist Mary Lambert, to sing her classic “Open Your Heart” once the marriages were official.)
Lewis wasn’t the only one with the personal connection, however. “It meant a lot ’cause two of them are good friends of mine, so I’m really happy for them. I’m happy for all the couples tonight,” Latifah reveals. “Everybody should get to, you know, fall in love with someone and make a life together and be protected under the law, so I’m all for that … I think it’s where the future is going.
“For two of my friends to be a part of it, it just really hit home. I just feel so special, you know? There’s not a lot of things that make you feel so special. This was very special, so I didn’t enter into it lightly,” she continues. “I thought about it because this is their night. This isn’t about TV and ratings — this is someone’s commitment to each other for life, so I don’t need all the hype. This was something real for me. So, I’m excited. I’m really happy to have been a part of it.”
Macklemore may not have had a similar special connection to the newlywed couples, but the moment was a chance for the singer to bring a message he cares about so greatly to a bigger stage.
“It’s a message of equality. It’s a message of tolerance, of compassion, to hopefully end homophobia, bigotry, fear, hatred that has been an institution here in America and it made one step closer to the change that’s so important in terms of following your heart, loving who you want to love and I thank the Grammys for giving us this platform because, 10 years ago, I don’t think that a song like ‘Same Love’ would’ve been embraced on this level by any of the mainstream media,” he says. “The fact that radio got behind it, the fact that television got behind it, that award shows got behind it, it’s a testament to where we’re headed in this country.”
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