Wednesday 18 September 2019

Emeli Sande praises Stormzy for Brits performance highlighting Grenfell victims

Sande featured alongside Stormzy on the Artists For Grenfell charity single and praised his Brit Awards performance.

Emeli Sande will perform at the Laureus World Sports Awards on Tuesday night (Ian West/PA)
Emeli Sande will perform at the Laureus World Sports Awards on Tuesday night (Ian West/PA)

By Liam Blackburn, Press Association, Monaco

Emeli Sande has stressed the need to “fight for justice” regarding the Grenfell Tower fire after a petition backed by fellow musician Stormzy received enough support to be considered for parliamentary debate.

At last week’s Brit Awards Stormzy referenced the handling of the public probe into last summer’s blaze, which killed 71 people, when he sang: “Yo Theresa May, where’s the money for Grenfell? What, you thought we just forgot about Grenfell?”

The grime artist followed that up by urging his 1.1million Twitter followers to sign a petition, launched by survivors, that calls for the Prime Minister to build public trust in the inquiry by appointing additional members to the panel to make it more diverse.

Following Stormzy’s performance and social media plea, the petition surged past the 100,000 signatures over the weekend, meaning it is expected to be debated by MPs.

And Sande, who appeared on an Artists For Grenfell charity single, has praised the impact of Stormzy’s Brits performance.

“I thought it was so powerful and I was just so happy that he had said something so important in his moment to shine,” she told the Press Association.

“I thought that was really admirable and inspiring as well.

“Even though it’s almost been a year now, I think it’s so important that we don’t forget the people that lost their lives at Grenfell and we really fight for justice.

“As long as people are reminded, that’s going to happen. I just thought it was amazing what he did.

Stormzy performs on stage during the 2018 Brit Awards show (Victoria Jones/PA)

“You have to remember how many eyes and ears you have (on you). The power of music can just transcend through all communities and all races. You have to use it for messages that are important to you personally as well.”

Stars at the Brits also carried white roses in support of victims of sexual harassment and assault, and the Me Too and Time’s Up movements.

Sande, who has won multiple Brit Awards, said she was particularly pleased to see men such as Ed Sheeran also wearing a white rose.

Speaking ahead of her performance at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco on Tuesday evening, Sande added: “It shows a sign of our times that these things can’t be ignored any more because everybody has a voice.

“I think it’s wonderful, especially for men, to be supporting that and showing that it is important and that they’re listening to women.

“It’s time for all of these things that have been hidden for so long to come to light and everyone to be accountable for their actions. I thought it was a really lovely sign of solidarity.”

– The Laureus World Sports Awards highlight sporting excellence and recognise those who use sport to change lives for the better. For more information, heard to

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