At awards shows, we typically expect to see all the A-listers, top artists, influencers and internet celebs. This is, after all, a time to celebrate the accomplishments of prominent figures in the entertainment industry. But, now and then, there are special moments dedicated to something.
On Sunday night, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made an appearance at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards. That is, on a pre-taped message.
The short video came on before John Legend performed a rendition of his song "Free" featuring Ukrainian musicians Siuzanna Iglidan and Mika Newton, and poet Lyuba Yakimchuk. Zelenskyy reportedly shot the clip within 48 hours before the music awards show, from a bunker in Kyiv.
He emphasized the silence in their country brought on by the war as the sound of bombs dropping from the sky drowns everything else. “The war. What is more opposite of music? The silence of ruined cities and killed people,” Zelenskyy said. “Our children draw swooping rockets, not shooting stars. Over 400 children have been injured and 153 children died, and we will never see them drawing. Our parents are happy to wake up in the morning in bomb shelters, but alive. Our loved ones don’t know if we will be together again. The war doesn’t let us choose who survives and who stays in eternal silence.”
But while the silence of the war in Ukraine is deafening, the fearless leader also wanted to talk about music.
“Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos. They sing to the wounded in hospitals. Even to those who can’t hear them. But the music will break through anyway. We defend our freedom. To live. To love. To sound," he said. "On our land, we are fighting Russia which brings horrible silence with its bombs. Fill the silence with your music. Fill it today. Tell our story. Tell the truth about the war on your social networks and TV. But not silence.”
Watch President Zelenskyy's full speech below. And click here to find ways to help and support Ukraine.
Photo via Getty
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