In one of the most hotly contested categories of the night, British producer Mark Ronson and American vocalist Bruno Mars were awarded Record of the Year for their song “Uptown Funk.” The infectious and inescapable single beat out stiff competition in the form of D’Angelo’s “Really Love,” Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” the Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face,” and Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space.” In addition to taking home the Record of the Year honors at the 2016 Grammys, “Uptown Funk” also won the award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.
The song was released in November of 2014, with production from Ronson and Mars as well as Jeff Bhasker. The contagious fun of “Uptown Funk” helped it become a bit of an unexpected hit, debuting at number 65 but continuously rising up the charts to hit the top spot on the Billboard 100 in its seventh week of release. It was Ronson’s first number one single in the United States, and Bruno Mars’s sixth, putting him in elite company among pop legends. Because of it gradually rose up the charts, it became one of the longest running Top 100 tracks in Billboard history.
In addition to a great deal of commercial success, “Uptown Funk” was also roundly praised by critics. It marked a step towards a more classic funk sound for Ronson, who is known for his work with Amy Winehouse and Adele, but has a diverse production background with artists as varied as Action Bronson, The Black Lips and Duran Duran.
Mark Ronson was also nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album for his Uptown Special. Neither Ronson nor Bruno Mars are strangers to the Grammy stage. Ronson has been nominated eight times and won five awards, and Mars has been nominated for 20 awards and won four of them.