Kesha's Tearful "Praying" Performance Is the Time's Up Moment of the Grammys
Prepare to reach for your Kleenex.
The singer initially arrived on the the awards show's red carpet in a cobalt blue suit with white roses embroidered into the lapels. "After going through what she’s gone through in the last couple of years, her place of empowerment as a woman is wearing a suit,” the singer's stylist, Samantha Burkhart, told People.
For her performance, however, Kesha opted for a white suit with blue rose embroidery. The singer, who was backed by fellow female artists Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Julia Michaels, and Bebe Rexha (all clad in white), poured her emotions into the live performance to deliver a passionate and tearful moment.
The song is a direct response to her legal battles against Dr. Luke (whom she accused of sexual assault in 2014), and one example of a musician directly addressing sexual misconduct. It felt like a continuation of the #MeToo movement, which we saw unravel at the 2018 Golden Globes where celebrities wore black in support of Time’s Up, an organization that works to end gender inequality.
Earlier this week, a producer told Yahoo! that Kesha’s performance was designed to send a message. “Praying” was the first single off of Rainbow, the first album she released since filing a sexual assault lawsuit against former producer Dr. Luke. Kesha has previously also spoken out about battling an eating disorder, another topic she addresses through her music.
In July 2017, Kesha wrote about her experiences on Lenny Letter. “I have channeled my feelings of severe hopelessness and depression, I’ve overcome obstacles, and I have found strength in myself even when it felt out of reach. I’ve found what I had thought was an unobtainable place of peace,” she wrote, explaining the message behind “Praying.”
“I hope this song reaches people who are in the midst of struggles, to let them know that no matter how bad it seems now, you can get through it. If you have love and truth on your side, you will never be defeated. Don’t give up on yourself,” she said.
Talk about overcoming your battles.