Kesha’s powerful, star-studded Grammy performance of “Praying.”
Surrounded by fellow female musicians, Kesha took a stand at Sunday night’s Grammys, showing her support of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements by performing her comeback hit “Praying.” Camila Cabello, Cyndi Lauper, Julia Michaels, Bebe Rexha, and Andra Day sang backup to Kesha as she gave an emotional performance of the song.
Janelle Monae introduced the performance with a speech about the Time’s Up movement that had begun around the Golden Globes.
“We [women] come in peace, but we mean business,” Monae proclaimed, “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.”
Kesha was visibly emotional during her performance and the song ended with Kesha starting to cry and hugging all the musicians that performed with her. The hit single, “Praying,” comes off her most recent album, Rainbow, which had been nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album. Many of the songs in the album were inspired by Kesha’s struggle over the past five years and have themes of forgiveness and transformation.
Rainbow was Kesha’s first album to be released since 2012 after a long legal battle between the pop singer and her former producer, Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald and his Sony imprint Kemosabe. Kesha had claimed that the Gottwald had sexually, verbally and emotionally abused her during her time working with him. Gottwald denied all charges and a New York judge denied a court injunction, which would have freed Kesha from the contract.
While Kesha is still signed to the Kemosabe label, Gottwald has since been let go from his position. The nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album was her first Grammy nomination after a decade-long musical career. Rainbow debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.