Even if you don’t take the Grammy, you win when Prince reads the nominees for your category.
The music icon, holding a cane and wearing a black hoodie, presented the Grammy Award
for Record of the Year to Australia-by-way-of-Belgium breakout star Gotye on Sunday night (December 10) And from the sound of it, Gotye was almost as excited about the introduction as the award.
Already a double Grammy winner earlier in the night for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for his breakout hit “Somebody That I Used to Know” and Best Alternative Music Album, the mono-named singer beat out several other winners at the show, including the Black Keys (“Lonely Boy”), Kelly Clarkson (“Stronger”), Fun. (“We Are Young”) and Frank Ocean (“Thinkin Bout You”) as well as Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”
Striding to the stage with the song’s female co-star, Kimbra, who was wearing a sheer dress covered in gold and pale blue rhinestones, the 32-year-old singer born Wouter “Wally” De Backer relished his moment in the sun after more than a decade of grinding it out as a virtual unknown outside of his home country.
“I’m a little bit lost for words,” De Backer said as he gazed at the golden gramophone in disbelief. “To receive an award from the man standing behind us here with the cane, I spent many years listening to this man’s music growing up and a big reason I was inspired to make music, thank you.”
Prince, wearing shades, took a bow at the praise as De Backer lauded the competition in the category, as well as those many struggling artists who make equally noteworthy music and are not recognized on Grammy night. “I just want to say thanks for everybody who puts great energy into the world making music,” he said. “I feel unworthy to be up here receiving this, but thank you all musicians and people who listen to music. Cheers.”
Kimbra had only one person she wanted to thank and that was Gotye for putting her on the song, and the world map. “I feel unbelievably blessed to have been a part of this song and I couldn’t have shared it with someone more amazing than this artist you see here. And thank you to Prince.”
The song, from Gotye’s third album, 2011’s Making Mirrors, hit the top 10 in more than 30 counties and has sold more than 13 million copies around the world. It was not only one of the signature hits of 2012, it also became a huge Internet meme, spawning countless spoofs, sing-alongs and YouTube tributes, including Gotye’s own supercut fan remix.