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Thursday 22 March 2018

Music industry giants deliver Grammy chorus of approval for #MeToo

Bono pens his autograph in the Grammy Charities book in New York Photo: Robin Marchant/Getty Images for NARAS
Bono pens his autograph in the Grammy Charities book in New York Photo: Robin Marchant/Getty Images for NARAS

Jill Serjeant

U2, Lady Gaga, Cardi B, Pink, Miley Cyrus, Sting, Elton John and Sam Smith were just a few of the artists who were due to perform at the 60th Grammy Awards last night.

But like many of the major US awards this year, entertainment and trophies weren't the only matters on the minds of performers.

Artists wore white roses as a symbol of solidarity with victims of sexual harassment as the #MeToo movement spreads from Hollywood to the music industry.

"You'll hear individual comments from artists who are there. That's really what it's about and we welcome that," said Recording Academy president Neil Portnow.

Kesha - a best pop vocal album nominee who has been battling her former record producer Dr Luke for years in the courts over allegations of emotional and sexual abuse - was expected to perform her emotional single 'Praying' with Cyndi Lauper, Julia Michaels and a full choir.

Dr Luke has repeatedly denied Kesha's allegations.

"I'm so proud and nervous and overwhelmed to be performing it at the Grammys," Kesha tweeted.

Nominees Alessia Cara, Khalid and Logic were to be joined by a group of suicide survivors to perform their song '1-800-273-8255', the phone number of the US National Suicide Prevention hotline.

Country artists Brothers Osborne, Eric Church and Maren Morris, who appeared at the Las Vegas country music festival where more than 50 people died and more than 500 were wounded in October, were marking the victims of gun violence and extremist attacks.

Rapper Jay-Z had eight nominations, mostly from his soul-baring '4:44' album, up against Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars, Childish Gambino and singer-songwriter Lorde to win album of the year. Mars, Jay-Z, Lamar and Gambino were also nominated for record of the year - as was Latin dance hit 'Despacito' by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and featuring Justin Bieber. The single broke records as the most-streamed global track of all time, with more than 4.6bn plays.

Irish Independent

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