Kesha Delivered the Devastating #MeToo Moment the Grammys Needed

“After everything you’ve done, I can thank you for how strong I have become,” the singer later tweeted.

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Janelle Monáe stepped out onto this year’s Grammy’s stage and didn’t lose a beat. Voicing a message of solidarity with fellow women in the industry, Monáe put the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements in the spotlight on one of mainstream music’s biggest nights.

“Time’s up for the abuse of power because you see, it’s not just going on in Hollywood, it’s not just going on in Washington,” she said, “It’s right here in our industry as well. And just as we have the power to shape culture, we also have the power to undo the culture that does not serve us well. So let’s work together women and men, as a united music industry, committed to creating more safe work environments, (with) equal pay and access for all women.” Mic drop. 

But Monáe wasn’t finished. She was also tasked with introducing the next musical performer, Kesha, an artist that’s fought a very public legal battle against her alleged abuser and former producer, Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald. Kesha accused Dr. Luke of sexual and physical abuse, but was bound by the contracts she held with him and his label, Kemosabe Records, and couldn’t release new music for years. 

At the Grammy’s she performed “Praying,” a song off of her first album in five years, Rainbow. Kesha gave an emotional performance, singing the chorus, “I hope you’re somewhere prayin’, prayin’; I hope your soul is changin’, changin’; I hope you find your peace; Falling on your knees, prayin’.”

She was joined on stage by the Resistance Revival Chorus, Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Julia Michaels, Bebe Rexha, and Andra Day.

The performance was devastating but powerful—and if the group hug at the end was any indication, a cathartic experience for both Kesha and the women around her. For those watching, it was a #MeToo moment that resounded far beyond Madison Square Garden.

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Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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