Kesha Delivered the Devastating #MeToo Moment the Grammys Needed

“After everything you’ve done, I can thank you for how strong I have become,” the singer later tweeted.

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Janelle Monáe stepped out onto this year’s Grammy’s stage and didn’t lose a beat. Voicing a message of solidarity with fellow women in the industry, Monáe put the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements in the spotlight on one of mainstream music’s biggest nights.

“Time’s up for the abuse of power because you see, it’s not just going on in Hollywood, it’s not just going on in Washington,” she said, “It’s right here in our industry as well. And just as we have the power to shape culture, we also have the power to undo the culture that does not serve us well. So let’s work together women and men, as a united music industry, committed to creating more safe work environments, (with) equal pay and access for all women.” Mic drop. 

But Monáe wasn’t finished. She was also tasked with introducing the next musical performer, Kesha, an artist that’s fought a very public legal battle against her alleged abuser and former producer, Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald. Kesha accused Dr. Luke of sexual and physical abuse, but was bound by the contracts she held with him and his label, Kemosabe Records, and couldn’t release new music for years. 

At the Grammy’s she performed “Praying,” a song off of her first album in five years, Rainbow. Kesha gave an emotional performance, singing the chorus, “I hope you’re somewhere prayin’, prayin’; I hope your soul is changin’, changin’; I hope you find your peace; Falling on your knees, prayin’.”

She was joined on stage by the Resistance Revival Chorus, Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Julia Michaels, Bebe Rexha, and Andra Day.

The performance was devastating but powerful—and if the group hug at the end was any indication, a cathartic experience for both Kesha and the women around her. For those watching, it was a #MeToo moment that resounded far beyond Madison Square Garden.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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