Surrounded by women, Kesha delivers an extraordinary performance at the Grammys

Pop singer Kesha delivered a powerful statement on behalf of women's equality at the Grammys on Sunday as she led a fierce performance of "Praying", her own account of abuse, with A-list back-up from a chorus of stars. (Dr. Luke, whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald, has strongly denied the accusations, and no criminal charges have been filed.) At the end of the song, the women who performed alongside Kesha surrounded her in a giant hug of support.

Where many Grammy songs performed months after their initial release seem exhausted, Kesha's voice was packed with emotion, as if it were the first time she sang "Praying".

What do you think about Kesha's "Praying" performance at the 2018 Grammys?

Ahead of Sunday's show, Kesha said that she was "so proud and nervous and overwhelmed" to be performing.

Kesha took the stage at Madison Square Garden flanked by a throng of strong, notable female performers; the likes of which included Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Bebe Rexha, and Andra Day, among others.

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Monáe ended her impactful speech with a call to create more safe work environments, equal pay and access for all women. Time's up for harassment of any kind. "Not just in Hollywood or in Washington".

Kesha was also nominated for two awards on the night, in the categories of Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album.

By that measure, Kesha's powerful rendition of "Praying" will surely be remembered as one of the most powerful moments of the 2018 Grammys.

"We come in peace, but we mean business", she declared. "When I wrote Praying, with Ben Abraham and Ryan Lewis, I just felt as if I had gotten a huge weight off of my shoulders", she said on Twitter.

Rainbow was released before #MeToo, but has dovetailed with the beginnings of a reckoning for sexism, misogyny and abuse of power.

  • Stacy Houston