Sunday night’s 56th Annual Grammy Awards earned divided reactions from viewers and critics, but one thing’s for sure: people watched them. In total, CBS drew in 28.51 million viewers to the broadcast, beating out last year’s draw of 28.38 million. According to the Nielsen ratings, this marks the ceremony’s second-highest ratings in 21 years.
Dating back to 1993, only the 2012 broadcast brought in bigger numbers than last night. (That record-setting year brought in 39.91 million viewers and aired one day after Whitney Houston‘s death.) This year, fans relished the opportunity to vent about the night’s performances on Twitter: according to Variety, approximately 15.2 million tweets were posted about the ceremony during the East Coast airing. The biggest Tweets-per-minute performances belonged to Kendrick Lamar’s show-stopping mash-up with Imagine Dragons and Lorde’s haunting and minimalist performance of “Royals.”
From start to finish, it was definitely an unusual night – from Beyonce’s sensual opening performance of “Drunk In Love” (with Jamie Foxx awkwardly complimenting her “talents” later in the evening), to Paul McCartney reuniting with Ringo, to Pharrell Williams’ enormous hat and Daft Punk jamming with Nile Rodgers and Stevie Wonder. While those major moments were fairly well-received across the board, some viewers were perplexed by Katy Perry’s funhouse-style staging of “Dark Horse.” The awards themselves were largely dominated by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Lorde and Daft Punk.