Grammys: Katy Perry Turns "By the Grace of God" Into Anti-Domestic Violence Anthem
The pop star used the introspective song to express a message of resilience against domestic abuse.
One week after her eye-catching Super Bowl halftime show, Katy Perry made a big statement with her Grammys performance.
The pop star turned her Prism ballad "By the Grace of God" into an anthem for overcoming domestic abuse. The segment began with a taped video from President Obama urging the end of "violence against women and girls" as a way to "change our culture for the better."
"It's not OK and it has to stop," Obama added, citing statistics of women who were the victims of attempted rape or domestic violence.
He then alluded to the influence Perry and other musicians have: "Artists have a unique power to change minds and attitudes and get us thinking and talking about what matters."
The commander in chief urged audience members to go to itsonus.org and sign a pledge to create a culture where domestic violence isn't tolerated and survivors are supported.
Obama's remarks were followed by Austin-based domestic-abuse survivor, activist and performance artist Brooke Axtell delivering a spoken-word piece from the Grammys stage.
The stripped-down performance then featured Perry alone onstage in all white against a white backdrop with interpretive dancers performing as shadows behind her.
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Perry previously told Billboard of the track, "That song is evident of how tough it really was at a certain point. I asked myself, 'Do I want to endure? Should I continue living?' "
Billboard previously reported that Perry would be bringing "Grace" to the Grammys, adding that the pop star would be producing a highly visual performance with dance-based elements. Perry went into Sunday night nominated for best pop vocal album for Prism and best pop duo/group performance for her single "Dark Horse," featuring Juicy J, which was included in her Super Bowl medley. She went home empty-handed, though, losing both awards.
During the E! Grammy preshow, Perry said that the song, the first one she wrote for Prism, would be the last thing she'd release from the album.
Perry's performance received a standing ovation from the Grammys audience.