And The Grammy For Best Performance Of The Night Goes To…President Obama?!

grammys-2015

Imma let you finish, but President Obama just upstaged the 2015 Grammys and made it the best Grammys broadcast of all time…ALL TIME.

Sorry, we know that Kanye joke is old, BUT since he tried to do the same thing this year as a joke when Beck won the award for album of the year (but then subsequently told the press Beck basically didn’t deserve the award because Beyonce is a “true artist” he kinda lot all cred with us).

Before we get into proceedings here, let’s just give a huge shout out to noted feminist and music badass Annie Lennox whose performance with Hozier everyone is talking about!

Anyway moving on to actual important news about the Grammys, not gimmicks. This year marked a very important moment in the history of the Grammys broadcast because a pre-recorded video statement from President Obama was played and it was a sober reminder of what’s going on in our culture.

Just like the Super Bowl paused festivities for a moment and addresses the domestic violence situation with this powerful PSA, the video statement from the Prez also touched on an issue that has been prominent throughout the history of music: violence towards women.

He started by stating that nearly 1 in 5 women in the U.S. have experienced rape or attempted rape, and that more than 1 in 4 have suffered some kind of domestic violence.

“Artists have a unique power to change minds and attitudes, and get us thinking and talking about what matters,” Obama said. “And all of us, in our own lives, have the power to set an example. Join our campaign to stop this violence.”

The campaign he is talking about is ‘It’s On Us‘ which was launched toward the end of 2014. The message is that everyone has a duty and the capacity to do something about violence. Speaking up and awareness is the first step.

It definitely created a somber reminder of the evils that lurk beneath the surface in pop culture, and how industries such as much which undoubtedly holds a lot of influence over the way people think should be leading the way on this.

As Rachel Simon at Bustle points out, is it quite significant that the Grammys decided to feature this PSA during its broadcast as well as Katy Perry and activist Brooke Axtell’s performance which was dedicated to bring awareness to domestic violence.

“The same show that gave Axtell a microphone also gave one to some of the very men she spoke out about. Sitting in the audience, celebrating their nominations, were convicted abuser Chris Brown and alleged rapist R. Kelly, plus however many other violent men that have just been lucky enough to not have their crimes reported in the press,” she writes.

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“Continuing to honor these men while promoting feminist issues is a saddening display of hypocrisy from the Grammys, but unfortunately, it’s not a surprise. The awards show has a history of tolerating domestic abuse, from allowing Brown to perform onstage in 2012 — on the third anniversary of his assault, no less — to giving nomination after nomination to suspected or known abusers, from Ike Turker to Ozzy Osbourne. Misogynistic artists like Eminem have collected dozens of awards for their music; in 1992, James Brown, alleged to be abusing his then-wife, was given a Lifetime Achievement Award.”

She said while it is disappointing, it is not a shock as in fact it is keeping in line with their past actions. Rachel also likened it to the way the film industry has treated both Woody Allen and Bill Cosby, who have been accused to sexual assault and rape. After the initial media hubbub dies down, they quietly go back to their elevated position in the hopes that people will forget their crimes in favor of their talent.

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Brooke Axtell is a domestic violence survivor and now uses her experience to speak to others and let them know “authentic love does not devalue another human being”. That was the message she shared during her spoken-word performance piece at the Grammys.

“If you are in a relationship with someone who does not honor and respect you I want you to know you are worthy of love,” Axtell said. “Please reach out for help. Your voice will save you.”

Her piece was accompanied by Katy Perry who sang ‘By The Grace Of God’ which is a very emotional song, and huge departure to what she performed a week earlier at the Super Bowl halftime show.

Overall it was a step in the right direction from the Grammys to give domestic violence messages center stage. We hope all the people in the audience took the issue seriously, because when all the lights, glamor, action and fun fades away, domestic violence is never ok and should never be hidden.

Here are Brooke and Katy Perry’s performances below:

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