Grammys: Kesha Makes #MeToo Statement With Performance of "Praying"
The singer was joined onstage by Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Julia Michaels and Andra Day.
Kesha delivered an empowering debut performance on the Grammys stage Sunday night with an emotional rendition of her ballad "Praying" alongside Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Julia Michaels and Andra Day.
During the performance, the singers paid homage to the #MeToo movement as they sang in unison before a chorus of women all dressed in white. Kesha, who grew emotional throughout the course of the performance, stood center stage as Lauper, Cabello, Michaels and Day stood on either side of her. The powerful set ended as Kesha was embraced onstage by the group of women.
Janelle Monae introduced the performance with a rousing speech about the importance of the Time's Up initiative.
"We come in peace but we mean business, and to those who would dare try and silence us, we offer you two words: Time's Up," she said. "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."
Monae continued, "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."
Kesha's performance comes amid her protracted legal battle with producer Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, who she alleges sexually assaulted her. As part of her 2014 lawsuit, the singer asked the court to dissolve her contract with the producer's Kemosabe Records, but she has faced a series of legal setbacks. The producer has denied the singer’s allegations.
Apart from performing, Kesha was also nominated for two awards including best pop solo performance for "Praying" and best pop vocal album (Rainbow).
“Praying” is the singer's first single after enduring a tumultuous hiatus of five years. In the emotional ballad, Kesha sings about acquiring self-confidence after being “put through hell.” The singer penned an essay on the Lenny blog where she expounded on the meaning of the ballad. “This song is about coming to feel empathy for someone else even if they hurt you or scare you. It's a song about learning to be proud of the person you are even during low moments when you feel alone. It's also about hoping everyone, even someone who hurt you, can heal," she wrote.
Earlier in the night, Pink put on an empowering performance of her single "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken," wearing a simple white top and jeans. The singer also walked the red carpet with a white rose pinned to her dress in support of the #MeToo movement and Time's Up initiative prior to taking the stage.
The 60th annual Grammy Awards are airing live from Madison Square Garden on CBS. The Late Late Show's James Corden is hosting.