Music Notes

Janelle Monáe Delivers A Powerful Speech To Introduce Kesha's Emotional Grammy Performance

"We come in peace, but we mean business."

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This Sunday's Grammys reminded us that the Time's Up and #MeToo movements to fight sexual abuse are just as relevant in the music industry as they are in the world of film and television. Several attendees showed their support for the cause by wearing white roses, and singer and actress Janelle Monáe delivered an impassioned speech to introduce Kesha's performance of "Praying."

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"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," Monáe shared when she took the stage. "We are also daughters, wives, mothers, sisters, and human beings."

"We come in peace, but we mean business," she announced, to applause from the audience. "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 or harassment of any kind, and time's up for the abuse of power."

The powerful speech preceded an equally powerful performance by Kesha, dedicated to the #MeToo movement. She was joined on stage by several female artists — including Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Andra Day, Bebe Rexha, and Julia Michaels — as well as the Resistance Revival Chorus.

"Praying," which was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Performance at the show, marked Kesha's first new music since her legal battle with producer Dr. Luke, whom she accused of sexual assault. "After everything you've done / I can thank you for how strong I have become," she sings on the track, later declaring, "And you said that I was done / Well, you were wrong, and now the best is yet to come."

"If you need it I hope this song finds you," Kesha wrote on Twitter the day before the show. She and her fellow singers all wore white for the emotional performance, which was backed up by dramatic drums. They ended the song with a group hug. Grammys host James Corden was moved to tears by the performance. 

See Kesha perform "Praying" in the video below:

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