Grammys: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Stephen Colbert Win Early

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Kyleen James

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed at the T-Mobile concert at Downtown's Belasco Theatre on Jan. 23.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis stirred the pot when the duo won best rap album for The Heist, as well as best rap performance and best rap song for "Thrift Shop," beating the likes of Jay Z, Kanye West, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar. The early Sunday wins undoubtedly offended many rap purists, leading the way for more controversy in the nationally televised show.

Earlier in the day, Michael Buble won his fourth best traditional pop vocal album Grammy. Herb Alpert's Steppin' Out was named best pop instrumental album, Ziggy Marley won reggae album and Stephen Colbert won spoken word album.

Cyndi Lauper announced some of the early awards during the pre-telecast ceremony, jokingly giving acceptance speeches for the artists who were not present. The red carpet opened with a crush of people ahead of the show, as most of the nominees in the less mainstream categories were vying for camera time before the big stars flooded in. Lauper picked up her own Grammy later on for Kinky Boots as best musical theater album, her first since copping best new artist back in 1984.

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Alpert won his sixth Grammy, while Marley's best reggae album win was his third in the category.

Colbert won for best spoken word album over the likes of Carol Burnett, David Sedaris, Billy Crystal and Pete Seeger

Kathy Griffin earned her first for best comedy album, for which she tirelessly campaigns every year, while Adele took her 10th since 2008 for the theme from Skyfall in best song for visual media.

Gipsy Kings and Ladysmith Black Mambazo tied for best world music album.

French house music DJ Cedric Gervais, who won best remixed recording for Lana Del Rey's Summertime Sadness, claimed, "It was a sad ballad I tried to make into a party song." Gervais credited his desire to get into music to seeing nominees Daft Punk as a 14-year-old. His next project is a remix of Miley Cyrus' "Adore You."

Tye Tribbett won for best gospel album and best gospel/contemporary music performance. "Music has a lot to do with shaping the hearts and minds of young people," he said. "I want their lives to be better after listening to my music."

Butch Vig was on hand to accept the Grammy for Sound City: Reel to Reel, for compilation soundtrack album for visual medium.

Thomas Newman won for his score for Skyfall in the score soundtrack album for visual media category. 

Maria Schneider, who won a total of three Grammys on Sunday afternoon, including one for best contemporary classical composition, added a somber note to the proceedings. After raising $200,000 via fan-funded sites to record the album, she is still $100,000 in debt, forced to fight sites illegally uploading her music on line. "It's a non-sustainable model for the music business moving forward," she said. 

Vampire Weekend won for best alternative album. Lead singer Ezra Koenig said about the Grammy loss to The Black Keys in 2011: "That gave us extra motivation to win this time."

Other winners included: Daft Punk for best dance/electronica album for Random Access Memories, phenom guitarist Gary Clark Jr. for best traditional R&B performance, Justin Timberlake for best R&B song ("Pusher Love Girl"), Rihanna for best urban contemporary album (Unapologetic), Alicia Keys for best R&B album (Girl on Fire), The Civil Wars for best country duo group performance, Kacey Musgraves for best country song ("Merry Go Round") and Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell for Best Americana Album (Old Yellow Moon).

Major awards are going to be announced later in the pre-show and nominee Macklemore believes Kendrick Lamar deserves the best rap album Grammy, but if he and his producer take home the award, he feels it is justified.

"I think that we made a great album that pushed the genre of hip-hop," the 30-year-old artist said. "I think that hip-hop can be at times resistant to change and when you see two white dudes from Seattle, Washington, rapping about gay marriage, it's like, 'Hold up, this isn't hip-hop,' when in actuality it is. Hip-hop has always been about expansion, about pushing the genre, about challenging the listener."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.