Janelle Monae's Time's Up Grammys Speech Will Bring Tears To Your Eyes
Leading into one of the night's most emotional moments, another singer took the stage to set the tone. Janelle Monae's Time's Up speech at the 2018 Grammys was beyond powerful, and the perfect segue into Kesha's "Praying" performance. While Monae's entire speech is worth a listen, there's one line in particular that stands out: "We come in peace, but we mean business."
Kicking off the speech, Monae stood in front of the Madison Square Garden audience and declared:
While stars on the red carpet, such as Kelly Clarkson and Alessia Cara, spoke to the power of Time's Up — with many wearing white roses as a show of solidarity — this may be the most direct discussion of the subject yet. As explained on Time's Up's official Twitter, "A white rose symbolizes respect, pays homage to new beginnings and expresses hope for the future. We like the sound of that."
Monae then continued, explaining what exactly she and the entire movement are calling "Time's Up" on. As she explained,
Fans on Twitter couldn't help but applaud the powerful moment, shifting the spotlight to the need to end inequality and harassment across the entertainment industry — and beyond.
And it would be remiss to discuss Monae's speech without including the portion about the courageous woman she was introducing: Kesha. Monae said,
Before everyone was taking a stand against sexual assault and harassment at the Golden Globes and in other public forums, Kesha was fighting her own battles publicly. Since 2014, she's been involved in various legal battles with Sony Music producer Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, who she accused of alleged sexual assault and other abuse. (Gottwald has repeatedly denied the allegations and even filed a countersuit for defamation, though the lawsuit was later dismissed.)
No matter what she's gone through, Kesha has continued to rise above — and that's exactly what "Praying" embodies. She may not have taken home the Grammy for that song, but her performance is easily the highlight of the night. And Monae's powerful speech only added to the impactful moment.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.