Grammys audience dips to 25.3 million, Kanye West's antics drive Twitter

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Music's annual Grammy Awards drew the smallest TV audience since 2009, with just 25.3 million people watching as British soul singer Sam Smith grabbed four big wins, broadcaster CBS said on Monday.

Featuring sombre messages about domestic violence and civil rights, the Grammys still ranked as the most-watched awards telecast of the year so far, outpacing film's Golden Globe Awards by 6 million viewers.

But viewership this year dropped by more than 3 million viewers from 2014, when a tribute to The Beatles and a mass wedding attracted 28.5 million viewers and the show's second-largest audience since 1993.

The Grammys are not expected to top the film industry's Academy Awards on Feb 22, an event watched by 43 million in the United States last year.

The most tweeted moment during Sunday's Grammy show in Los Angeles came when rapper Kanye West rushed the stage as rocker Beck went up to accept the coveted album of the year award for Morning Phase.

Although the outspoken West did not grab the microphone like he did during his infamous 2009 MTV Video Music Awards incident, when he interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech in support of Beyonce, he told network E! following the Grammy show that Beyonce should have won album of the year.

"Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyonce, and at this point, (we're) tired of it," the rapper said.

His antics drew about 13.4 million comments on Twitter, according to tracker Nielsen Social.

He later said he was not implying that Beck is not an artist.

"No, I wasn't saying Beck. I said the Grammys," he told website TMZ. "Beck knows that Beyonce should have won, you know that. Come on, I love Beck. But he can't have album of the year."

Sam Smith's record of the year win for his hit Stay With Me - the last award handed out - was the top Grammy moment on Facebook, the social network said.

It said 17 million people had 45 million interactions on Facebook related to the Grammys.

British singer Annie Lennox and Beck saw the biggest bumps in music streaming activity, according to platform Spotify.

Beck had a 388 per cent spike following the show, while Lennox, who performed two songs with Irish rocker Hozier, had a 147 per cent bump.

The most-liked photo on photo-sharing site Instagram was pop singer Ariana Grande's picture with boyfriend, rapper Big Sean.

Grande, who performed at the show, thanked her boyfriend for helping her through Grammys nervousness.

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