Following the powerful impact that the Golden Globes left at the beginning of the month, the Grammys had its moments too. Whilst speeches from the likes of Janelle Monáe demanded change, the most raw and emotional performance, however, came from Kesha, and it stemmed from way before the #MeToo movement became a thing.
Kesha's public legal battle with Dr. Luke - who she alleged drugged and sexually assaulted her on several occasions amongst other horrific claims - became a mentally and emotionally draining time following the trauma of what she went through whilst working under contract with the producer. It wasn't until late last year, after all legal matters were said and done, that she released her comeback album, Rainbow. Rainbow as a record was Kesha coming back more open and stronger than ever before, and rightfully so earned itself a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal Nomination, and track Praying earned a nod for Best Pop Solo Performance. Despite missing out on both awards, her performance of the nominated Praying outshone the categories' winners and served as an emotional centrepiece for the entire night.
Prior to the awards ceremony, Kesha took to Twitter to talk about the writing process behind the song, writing: “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. It felt like an emotional raw victory for myself, one step closer to healing. I never could have known what would’ve happened these past few years.”
Her performance - which featured fellow female artists Cyndi Lauper, Bebe Rexha, Andra Day, Camila Cabello, and Julia Michaels alongside the Resistance Revival Chorus - was dedicated to survivors of sexual assault and her own reclamation of strength and power. Leaving few dry eyes in the audience, Kesha broke down as she joined in a group hug on stage as she looked out onto a standing ovation.
You can view the full performance here: