The 56th Annual Grammy Awards were held on January 26, 2014, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The show was broadcast on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/PT and was hosted for the third time by LL Cool J. The show was moved to January to avoid competing with the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, as was the case in 2010.
The eligibility period for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards was October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013. The nominations were announced on December 6, 2013 during a live televised concert on CBS, The Grammy Nominations Concert Live – Countdown to Music's Biggest Night. Jay Z received the most nominations with nine. Justin Timberlake, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Pharrell Williams each received seven nominations. Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams were nominated twice for both Album of the Year and Record of the Year. Sound engineer Bob Ludwig received the most nominations by a non-performing artist, with five.
Daft Punk won five awards, including Album of the Year for Random Access Memories and Record of the Year, with Pharrell Williams, for "Get Lucky". Macklemore & Ryan Lewis won four trophies, including Best New Artist, and led an industry show of support for gay marriage with a performance of their song "Same Love" to accompany a mass wedding of gay and heterosexual couples, which was presided over by Queen Latifah. Lorde's "Royals" received awards for Best Pop Solo Performance and Song of the Year. Carole King was honored as MusiCares Person of the Year on January 24, two days prior to the awards ceremony.
On June 4, 2013, the Recording Academy approved a number of changes recommended by its Awards & Nominations Committee, including adding a new category for Best Americana Song to the American Music field. This songwriters' award will encompass all the subgenres in this field such as Americana, bluegrass, blues, folk, and regional roots music. The Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance category was renamed Best Metal Performance and became a stand-alone category. Hard rock performances will now be screened in the Best Rock Performance category. The Music Video field will become the Best Music Video/Film field. Its two categories will be renamed: Best Short Form Music Video will now be known as Best Music Video and Best Long Form Music Video will change into Best Music Film. These changes bring the total number of categories at the 2014 Grammy Awards to 82, up from 81 at the 2013 Grammy Awards.
James Todd Smith (born January 14, 1968), better known as LL Cool J (short for Ladies Love Cool James), is an American rapper and actor from Queens, New York. He is known for such hip hop hits as "I Can't Live Without My Radio", "I'm Bad", "The Boomin' System", "Rock The Bells" and "Mama Said Knock You Out", as well as romantic ballads such as "Doin' It", "I Need Love", "Around the Way Girl" and "Hey Lover". LL Cool J is also known as one of the forefathers of pop rap. He has released 13 studio albums and two greatest hits compilations. His twelfth album Exit 13 (2008), was his last for his long-tenured deal with Def Jam Recordings. His latest album, Authentic, was released in April 2013.
LL Cool J has also appeared in numerous films, including In Too Deep, Any Given Sunday, S.W.A.T., Mindhunters, and Edison. He currently stars in an action role as NCIS Special Agent Sam Hanna, on the CBS crime drama television series NCIS: Los Angeles. LL Cool J is also the host of Lip Sync Battle on Spike. He is also well known as a serious bodybuilder.
King's career began in the 1960s when she, along with her then husband Gerry Goffin, wrote more than two dozen chart hits for numerous artists, many of which have become standards. She has continued writing for other artists since then. King's success as a performer in her own right did not come until the 1970s, when she sang her own songs, accompanying herself on the piano, in a series of albums and concerts. After experiencing commercial disappointment with her debut album Writer, King scored her breakthrough with the album Tapestry, which topped the U.S. album chart for 15 weeks in 1971 and remained on the charts for more than six years.
In 2000 Billboard pop music researcher Joel Whitburn named King the most successful female songwriter of 1955–99 because she wrote or co-wrote 118 pop hits on the Billboard Hot 100. King wrote 61 hits that charted in the UK. In 2005 music historian Stuart Devoy found her the most successful female songwriter on the UK singles charts 1952–2005.
King has made 25 solo albums, the most successful being Tapestry, which held the record for most weeks at No. 1 by a female artist for more than 20 years. Her most recent non-compilation album was Live at the Troubadour in 2010, a collaboration with James Taylor that reached number 4 on the charts in its first week and has sold over 600,000 copies. Her records sales were estimated at more than 75 million copies worldwide.
She has won four Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her songwriting. She is the recipient of the 2013 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, the first woman to be so honored. She is also a 2015 Kennedy Center Honoree.