January 27, 2014 / 7:18 PM / 5 years ago

Beatles, mass wedding attract big TV audience to Grammys

Producer Paul Williams accepts the award for Album of the year for Daft Punk's "Random Access Memories" as Nile Rodgers (L) and Pharrell Williams applaud at the 56th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Beatles, robots and a mass wedding drew 28.5 million viewers to the Grammy awards television broadcast on Sunday night, the show’s second-largest audience in two decades, CBS Corp’s broadcast network CBS said on Monday.

French electronic-music duo Daft Punk, known for their robot-inspired outfits, took home four awards including album and record of the year, and New Zealand’s 17-year-old newcomer Lorde won two, including song of the year.

Viewership was up from last year’s Grammys, when 28.1 million viewers tuned into the show, and is the second-largest audience for the Grammy telecast since 1993.

The 2012 show attracted 39.9 million viewers, the second-largest Grammy TV audience ever, thanks largely to British singer Adele’s six wins and performance comeback after throat surgery and the drowning death of singer Whitney Houston in a bathtub in a Beverly Hills hotel the night before show.

On Sunday night’s show, Seattle-based rapper-producer duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis was named best new artist among four wins. The pair presided over the night’s most dramatic moment when 33 same-sex and heterosexual couples were married live on air during a performance of their gay rights ode “Same Love.” They were joined by Madonna and Queen Latifah on stage.

The 56th annual Grammys also saw a rare performance by the two surviving members of The Beatles, as Paul McCartney on piano and Ringo Starr on drums came together to sing the new song “Queenie Eye.”

The reunion came ahead of the Recording Academy’s tribute to the 50th anniversary of The Beatles appearing on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in February 1964, credited with launching rock music’s British Invasion.

The 3-1/2-hour show was a hot topic on social media, with 15.2 million Tweets about the Grammys during the East Coast broadcast, a Twitter spokesman said

The most-Tweeted about performance came midway through the show, when alt-rock group Imagine Dragons and rapper Kendrick Lamar came together for a high-octane mash-up of their songs, garnering more than 172,000 Tweets per minute.

Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; editing by Patricia Reaney and Cynthia Osterman

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