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Powerful performances make Grammys memorable

By: Dejanay Richardson

Last Sunday, the 60th annual Grammy Awards offered a platform for artists to send powerful messages through their music. Great acts like U2, Cardi B and Rihanna fueled the show with funky pop songs and R&B hits. However, there were also moving performances that externalized issues of sexual assault, street violence and mental health on a national platform. Here are the top performers who used the stage to convey a direct message to Hollywood.

1. Kendrick Lamar

Photo Courtesy: US Weekly

Unsurprisingly, rapper Kendrick Lamar gave an outstanding performance at the Grammys. He showcased a montage of popular songs from his latest album, “DAMN.” In addition to his loud solo performance, comedian Dave Chapelle collaborated with Lamar during the opening.

While Lamar put on a great performance, his backup dancers’ costumes stole the show. The switch from army soldiers attire to red ninja-like attire portrayed the truth about the violent and sobering realities that young black men face in America. The dancers’ bright blood-red ensembles symbolized society’s unrest towards the unjust shootings of Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Michael Brown and more. The loud gunshot sound effects also emphasized the injustice of police brutality and highlighted shootings that have occurred within the past few years. Kendrick’s music spoke volumes about a serious issue while still maintaining his image as a humble and eccentric artist.

2. Kesha

Photo Courtesy: Google Images

Kesha sang “Praying” from her album “Rainbow,” accompanied by Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Andra Day, Julia Michaels, Bebe Rexha and the Resistance Revival Chorus. Kesha’s prayers were heard as she belted out the lyrics, which describes the legal battle she has fought for four years against her former producer, Dr. Luke. Kesha used the stage to make a clear call to action to rise up for the #MeToo movement in Hollywood.

It has been four years since Kesha last promoted new music, but her talent has not faded one bit. Kesha’s heartwarming and powerful vocals on “Praying,” along with the voices of other female artists, moved the audience. She used to stage to tell a very timely story that has been surfacing in the news recently with the #TimesUp Legal Defense Fund and coinciding movements.

3. Logic featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid

Photo Courtesy: XXL Magazine

Logic, Alessia Cara and Khalid capped off the Grammys with an uplifting and impressive performance. Logic’s “1-800-273-8255’” gave a voice to suicide survivors and those battling mental health issues. Some suicide survivors even accompanied the artists on stage. Towards the end, he gave a moving speech about mental health and the political climate under Trump’s administration. Logic’s decision to name the track after a suicide hotline number also led to a spike in calls, encouraging people to open up about mental illness.

This was another timely issue to talk about, with #BellLetsTalk sparking a progressive movement on social media last week, inspiring people to talk about mental health. This topic is slowly becoming less taboo on Quinnipiac’s campus as well through its annual event, Fresh Check Day.

4. P!nk

Photo Courtesy: POPSUGAR

Lastly, Pink traded in her usual over-the-top award show performances for an intimate, understated performance. Pink performed “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken” from her album, “Beautiful Trauma,” and left many fans crying. Pink’s decision to perform in a simple white T-shirt and blue jeans was her new definition of what a showstopping performance can be. Although there was a hidden message about political issues, Pink primarily delivered messages of self-acceptance and love to the audience. It was genius to perform a simple but meaningful song on such a grandiose platform.

What were your favorite performances from last week’s Grammys? Tell us on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

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