There were some moments at the 2018 Grammys that were almost sure to be memorable. Kesha’s live performance of “Praying” was bound to be one of them. It’s a gut-wrenching song about abuse and trying to move on past the trauma of it.
For Kesha in particular, her story regarding Dr. Luke has played out in the press for years. This song is her comeback anthem, and we were hoping that it was going to win at one point during the awards show. That didn’t happen, but she did have an opportunity to perform the song with some stars of past and present, including Camila Cabello, Cyndi Lauper, and many more. Many of these women, who easily could have taken center stage themselves, were willing to stand behind her and allow her to have this moment. You could tell that she was emotional throughout most of the performance, but she carried on with the song while flaked by many of the other stars in attendance. This was anthemic and you can see the energy reverberating through many of the people on stage.
In all honesty, this was only a song that we’d heard a small handful of time before tonight. Now, it’s probably one that we will remember forever.
At the conclusion of the number, everyone joined in a group embrace while being greeted by a standing ovation. There were tears in the audience and there were certainly tears on the stage.
This moment with Kesha was far from the only powerful political statement on the night — on the other side of her performance, Cabello took the stage solo in order to speak out about immigrants in the midst of the DACA debate and some of what is going on there at Capitol Hill. These are the moments that help to define the Grammys — while we know that there are many other notable performances, music channels emotion in a way that few other mediums do. We’ve heard powerful stories throughout the Me Too and Time’s Up movements, but Kesha’s performance tonight will stand out in a way that very few others do.
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