The 2018 Grammys: Kesha and #MeToo Movement steal the show

Graphic by Carrie Clowers ’18

Graphic by Carrie Clowers ’18

BY SARAH OLSEN ’18

Music took center stage Sunday night as the Grammys celebrated artists, producers, songwriters and other members of the music industry. The 60th show featured nine of the 84 awards being handed out on-air between memorable performances from popular artists, such as Kendrick Lamar and Rihanna. 

This year’s Grammys saw Bruno Mars dominating several categories with his latest album, “24K Magic.” Mars won Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Best R&B Performance, Best R&B Song, Song of the Year, Best R&B Album and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. 

Another major winner of the evening was Ed Sheeran, who won in the categories for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Solo Performance. Kendrick Lamar also won for Best Rap Performance, Best Rap/Song performance, Best Rap Song, Best Rap Album and Best Music Video. Other winners included Shakira for Best Latin Pop Album and Alessia Cara for Best New Artist. 

Not unlike the Golden Globes, attendees of the Grammys used the event for activism, taking a stand against inequality and harassment by displaying white roses. Members of the music industry, including Lady Gaga and Sam Smith, took to the red carpet with white roses pinned to their clothing, clutched in their hands or more drastically, like Sarah Silverman, in their mouth. Meant to symbolize solidarity with the #MeToo movement, the motion to wear the roses was made by female executives. According to The New York Times article, “Will the Grammys have a #MeToo Movement?” the idea was born at a Mexican restaurant in Lower Manhattan when Meg Hawkins, one of Roc Nation’s senior VPs of marketing, and Karen Raita, rhythmic promotion at Interscope/Geffen/A&M Records, assembled a group of women in music called Voices in Entertainment. Formed less than a week before the Grammys, the The New York TImes reported that the group decided, “If no one else in the industry was going to organize a Grammy campaign over sexual harassment and equality . . . then they would do it themselves.”

White roses weren’t the only references to the #MeToo Movement. Kesha delivered a memorable performance of her song “Praying” while being flanked by Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Julia Michaels, Andra Day and Bebe Rexha. With lyrics such as “You brought the flames and you put me through hell/I had to learn how to fight for myself,” Kesha’s performance served as a powerful message for the #MeToo Movement and audience members, who gave Kesha a standing ovation. Kesha’s performance was introduced by actress, producer and singer Janelle Monáe, who said, “We say time’s up for pay inequality, time’s up for discrimination, time’s up for harassment of any kind, and time’s up for the abuse of power.”

Here’s what Mount Holyoke thought of the Grammys:

“It’s ridiculous that Ed Sheeran won for best pop solo and album over Kesha and Lorde who, in my opinion, are much more interesting artists.” -— Nicole Trombly ’21

“Kesha should’ve won. Although people are attacking [Ed Sheeran] and his music now, which isn’t fair bc he doesn’t decide who wins and who doesn’t. It’s a problem with the music industry as a whole.” — Deanna Kalian ’20

“I didn’t watch it because Taylor Swift wasn’t nominated.” — Maddy Berkowitz-Cerasano ’18

“Ed Sheeran didn’t deserve to win. He looked like an Olive Garden employee and we can’t reward that.” — Mollie Wohlforth ’19 

 “I didn’t watch it because I know and care little about the pop/indie music scenes.” — Shana Seligman ’21 

“I’m so mad about the whole Lorde thing where they didn’t give her a solo and she was the only female nominated for best album of the year and all the other nominees were given their own solo during the show, except her.” — Helena Beliveau ’19

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