The Top 5 Moments for Women at the 57th Annual Grammys
1. President Obama, Brooke Axtell, and Katy Perry Rallied Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence
Obama spoke in a recorded statement before Brooke and Katy’s performance, saying: “It’s on us – all of us - to create a culture where violence isn’t tolerated, where survivors are supported, and where all our young people – men and women – can go as far as their talents and their dreams will take them.” He asked viewers to visit Itsonus.org, where the White House has created a pledge for people to stand in solidarity against sexual assault.
Then writer and survivor advocate Brooke Axtell took the stage. She introduced herself: “My name is Brooke Axtell, and I am a survivor of domestic violence.” She spoke about her experience with domestic violence, how she thought she could be the solution to her boyfriend’s abuse. “I believed my compassion could restore him and our relationship…But my compassion was incomplete because it did not include me.”
“Authentic love does not devalue another human being,” she continued. “If you are in a relationship with someone who does not honor and respect you, I want you to know that you are worthy of love.” Katy Perry added to the message of empowerment with her song “By the Grace of God,” whose chorus “I looked in the mirror and decided to stay/wasn’t gonna let love take me out that way” seems to defy an abusive relationship.
2. Annie Lennox Put a Spell on Us
On the red carpet, Annie Lennox was honest: “This isn’t my scene.”
But later on in the night, she clearly found her groove. In a mashup with Hozier’s “Take Me to Church,” Annie Lennox performed “I Put a Spell on You.” The 60-year-old, four-time Grammy winner earned a standing ovation for her powerful vocals and stage presence. She bounced around the stage and swung her hips, she mimicked playing the harmonica and struck several power stances with the mic stand. Basically, you have to see it for yourself:
3. Madonna Started a Love Revolution
“We all love to see women on top,” Nicki Minaj said, introducing Madonna with Miley Cyrus.
And who better to exemplify that statement than the queen of pop herself? Madonna provided the first spectacular performance of the night, dressed as a matador and surrounded by horned men. She sang “Living for Love,” a track off her upcoming album set to launch March 10.
4. Sia, Kristin Wiig, and Maddie Ziegler Formed a Female Triumvirate
Kristin Wiig surprised viewers when she joined Sia and Maddie Ziegler for a performance of “Chandelier.” While promoting her album, Sia has chosen to cover her face, so she stood with her back to the audience as Wiig and Ziegler emoted and danced through a flickering living room and hall.
It’s not the first time Sia has gathered extraordinary female performers—on Saturday Night Live, she performed with Lena Dunham.
5. Nicki Minaj Got Real on the Red Carpet
After ignoring Ryan Seacrest to take a photo with Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj understandably rolled her eyes when he asked which of her songs she “gets romantic to.” When he asked her about being a female rapper, she clarified: “I’m also, like, number four of all women in the world.” More than that, in 2013, Minaj was number four on Forbes’s annual round-up of the highest paid hip hop acts in the world, and the the only woman included on the list. Maybe next time the red carpet hosts will be inspired to #AskHerMore.