Kesha showed her “True Colors” Sunday night.
The singer took the stage at Madison Square Garden at the 60th annual Grammy Awards, where she performed “Praying” alongside Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Julia Michaels, Bebe Rexha and Andra Day after being introduced by Janelle Monae.
“Tonight I am proud to stand in solidarity as just not an artist but a young women with my fellow sisters who make up the music industry: artists, writers, assistants, publicists, CEO, producers, engineers and women from all sectors of the business. We are also daughters, wives, mothers, sisters, and human being,” Monae said.
“We come in peace but we mean business. And to those who would dare try to silence us. We offer two words: Time’s up. 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 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. And just as we have the power to shape culture, we also have the power to undo the culture that doesn’t serve us well. So let’s work together,” the singer/actress continued.
Concluding, “Women and men as a united music industry committed to creating safe work environments, equal pay, and access for all women. And as artists so often do our next performer embodies the great tradition of delivering important social messages. This fearless two time Grammy nominee inspires so many of us, including myself when she spoke her truth on her album Rainbow, which is nominated for best pop vocal album tonight.”
With a chorus dressed in all-white backing them all, Kesha commanded a gold microphone as she belted out the lyrics of her 2017 single produced by Ryan Lewis. As the ladies moved to center stage, they were greeted with an applause as Kesha continued into the next verses of her anthem.
Kesha ended the performance with a group hug from Lauper and Cabello as audience members, including Hailee Steinfeld, wiped away tears during a standing ovation.
To donate to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which will provide subsidized legal support to women and men in all industries who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace, visit its GoFundMe page. Learn more about Time’s Up, an organization of women in entertainment combating sexual harassment and inequality, on its website.
Last August, the “Woman” singer released Rainbow, her first album in nearly five years. The acclaimed country- and rock-tinged set earned the starlet two Grammy nods at the 2018 show: best pop vocal album and best pop solo performance (for lead single “Praying”).
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The LP’s release was particularly triumphant for Kesha, as she’s been embroiled in a contentious lawsuit with longtime producer and label exec Dr. Luke. In 2014, Kesha sued her former mentor, alleging he had drugged and raped her and verbally and emotionally abused her for a decade.
Luke (aka Lukasz Gottwald, 44) has vehemently denied the allegations and countersued Kesha for breach of contract and defamation. In February 2016, Luke tweeted: “I didn’t rape Kesha and I have never had sex with her. Kesha and I were friends for many years and she was like my little sister.”
In 2016, a judge dismissed Kesha’s abuse claims, and the legal he-said-she-said appears to be at a standstill.
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The 60th annual Grammy Awards, hosted by James Corden, were broadcast live on CBS from Madison Square Garden in New York City.