The Grammy Awards this year will be remembered for more than just the fact that they celebrated their 60th annual award show. With legendary, inspiring and jaw-dropping performances by Kendrick Lamar, Logic and Kesha all making profound statements through their music as well as the Time’s Up theme and political cameos throughout the night, this years show is one that will be talked about for many weeks, maybe even months or years to come.
Kesha’s performance stood out among the almost two hour event not only because of the statement she makes in her song, “Praying,” but also because of the harrowing and emotional background behind the piece and performance.
As many know, Kesha sued her producer, Lukasz “Dr.Luke” Gottwald, in 2014 to terminate all contracts between them due to the sexual, physical, verbal and emotional abuse Gottwald put her through over the course of her career – a theme we have seen far too often in the music and movie industry recently. Fans took to supporting her by making signs that stated “Free Kesha,” and starting a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to buy Kesha out of her Sony contract. Fans weren’t the only one to stand up for Kesha – many celebrities publicly defended her throughout her long and agonizing legal battle through social media, on the stage and even through donations, like Taylor Swift who donated $250,000. “Rainbow,” her most recent album released in 2017, was what allowed her to express her pain through this difficult time and allowed her to share her experience with her fans and the world. “Praying” became her most popular song from the album. The song shows empathy to the monster that tried to take her down while not letting him drag her down too. If you saw her performance on January 28 then you cannot deny the power and emotion on stage that night and can imagine how it has affected many of those who have witnessed it.
This performance was more than just a chance for Kesha to stand up to her abuser. It was a battle cry for the abuse, bullying and harassment, that many are affected by in the workplace, to be recognized and put to an end. With the help of the Resistance Revival Chorus – a group of more than 50 women which was created in response to frustration over Trump’s presidency and whose aim is to raise awareness for women’s rights movements and other campaigns – they started this much needed conversation among the public and earned praise across all social media.
Along with Kesha’s performance, Janelle Monae’s introduction was just as empowering. Monae calls for solidarity and equality and makes an inspiring statement when she states, “We are also daughters, wives, mothers, sisters, and human beings. We come in peace, but we mean business.”
If you have yet to see the Grammys or the performances from the Grammys, take the time to look them up. Besides being great performances from great artists, the performances hold important and essential messages that need to be heard and talked about. So, in the words of Kesha, “TiK ToK” people, “C’Mon” let’s be “Warrior”’s in this battle against abuse and keep fighting until we achieve equality in this “Crazy Beautiful Life.”