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Performing on a set that appeared to be a house of clouds, Perry donned in a white pantsuit and an armband reading “Persist.”
At the end of her song, she and Marley stood defiantly in front of a projected image of the U.S. Constitution, which earned a large cheer from the audience.
On Thursday, Perry unveiled “Chained to the Rhythm,” produced by longtime collaborator Max Martin and Ali Payami and featuring a guest appearance from Bob Marley’s grandson Skip Marley, a track from her upcoming fourth album and her first real single in the last six months.
On the red carpet, Perry told Ryan Seacrest that she considers her latest work “purposeful pop,” calling “Chained the the Rhythm” a “song that starts conversations.”
“There’s so much divisiveness, and people on one side or the other, and we just need to listen to each other,” Perry said. “So I hope that the song does that.”
The song’s lyrics include the lines: “It is my desire / Break down the walls to connect, inspire / Ay, up in your high place, liars / Time is ticking for the empire / The truth they feed is feeble / As so many times before / They greed over the people / They stumbling and fumbling / And we’re about to riot.”
You are the WE, don’t forget that pic.twitter.com/YGgXqG5Obi
— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) February 13, 2017
Perry has been nominated for 13 Grammy Awards throughout her career. Her latest album, Prism, was released Oct. 13, 2013.
Other performers of the night included Demi Lovato, Tori Kelly, Andra Day, John Legend, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, The Weeknd, Alicia Keys, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga and Adele.
James Corden hosted the 59th Grammy Awards, which were broadcast live from Staples Center on CBS.
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