The Grammys are a celebratory affair, but they’re also often a forum for stars to speak out about important issues — and that was especially the case this year. Many celebs wore white roses on the red carpet to show support for the Time’s Up movement, and Kendrick Lamar kicked off the show with a politically charged opening number featuring U2 and Dave Chappelle. One of the most powerful moments, though, was Kesha’s performance of “Praying,” preceded by Janelle Monae’s moving introduction.
“Tonight, I am proud to stand in solidarity as not just an artist, but a young woman, with my fellow sisters in this room who make up the music industry — artists, writers, assistants, publicists, CEOs, producers, engineers, and women from all sectors of the business,” Monae began. “We are also daughters, wives, mothers, sisters, and human beings. We come in peace, but we mean business.”
She went on to specifically shout-out the Time’s Up movement, saying: “And to those who would dare try and silence us, we offer you two words: Time’s up. We say time’s up for pay inequality, time’s up for discrimination, time’s up for harassment of any kind, and time’s up for the abuse of power. Because you see, it’s not just going on in Hollywood. It’s not just going on in Washington. It’s right here in our industry as well.”
Before welcoming Kesha to the stage, Monae concluded her speech by issuing a call to action to her fellow musicians. “Just as we have the power to shape culture, we also have the power to undo the culture that does not serve us well,” she said. “So let’s work together — women and men as a united music industry committed to creating more safe work environments, equal pay, and access for all women.”
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(photo via Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NARAS)