Politics at Grammys: #TimesUp, Dreamers, Hillary Clinton take spotlight

By Wade Sheridan  |  Updated Jan. 29, 2018 at 10:39 AM
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Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Stars wore white roses in support of the "Time's Up" movement, a young Cuban-Mexican singer gave a tribute to "Dreamers" like herself, U2 played at the Statue of Liberty and Hillary Clinton mocked President Donald Trump in a Grammy Awards broadcast rife with politics.

Artists including Kelly Clarkson, Rita Ora, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Cardi B, Sarah Silverman, Reba McEntire, Khalid, The Chainsmokers and host James Corden wore a white rose during Sunday's show in support of women who are speaking out against sexual harassment and abuse.

"The white rose for so many years has been such a peaceful symbol in so many different parts of the world and for me solidarity's so important now," Ora told Entertainment Weekly. "I thought that it was just a very graceful way of showing support to, I guess, everything that's going on in Hollywood and I really do believe that the more visibility it gets, the more I think we can help."

The show also touched on immigration, with singer Camila Cabello delivering an emotional speech about coming to America as a child, like those fighting to stay in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

"Tonight in this room full of music's dreamers we remember that this country was built by dreamers for dreamers chasing the American dream. I'm here on this stage tonight because just like the 'Dreamers,' my parents brought me to this country with nothing in their pockets but hope," said Cabello, who was born in Cuba and lived in Mexico.

"They showed me what it means to work twice as hard and never give up. ... These kids can't be forgotten and are worth fighting for."

Cabello introduced a performance by U2, staged along the Hudson River with the Statue of Liberty in the background, of their song, "Get Out of Your Own Way."

Kesha, backed by Cyndi Lauper, Andra Day, Julia Michaels, Bebe Rexha and the Resistance Revival Chorus, summoned viewers to tears with her single, "Praying," an anthem of women's empowerment.

Her first song since 2013, it was inspired by her legal battle with producer Lukasz Gottwald, aka Dr. Luke. Kesha accused him or raping and abusing her and tried to get free of her contract.

Gottwald denied the allegations. Kesha eventually dropped her lawsuit to focus on other music.

"'After everything you've done I can thank you for how strong I have become,'" thank you to the @RecordingAcad, the women on stage with me tonight, and everyone who has supported me through this whole journey," Kesha said on Twitter alongside a photo of the performance Sunday.

On the red carpet, Joy Villa made a different kind of fashion statement: wearing a white dress featuring a rainbow fetus, with a purse that read, "Choose life."

Villa, who is also a Fox News contributor, turned heads at last year's Grammys when she wore a red, white and blue Donald Trump-themed dress that featured the president's slogan, "Make America Great Again."

Hip hop star Kendrick Lamar's opening performance of "XXX," from his latest album Damn, had dancers marching with images of the American flag in the background. At the end, they fell to the floor to sounds of gunfire.

In a pre-recorded skit, various artists read aloud from the new book about Trump, Fire and Fury, "auditioning" for an audio recording. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won. Donald Trump Jr. and ambassador Nikki Haley were not amused.

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