Following a powerful introduction by Janelle Monáe, Kesha took to the Grammys stage to deliver a raw performance of her nominated song, “Praying.” She was joined by Cyndi Lauper, Bebe Rexha, Andra Day, Camila Cabello, Julia Michaels, and a group of backup vocalists dubbed The Resistance Revival Chorus. Together they supported Kesha as she tore through a cathartic rendition of her empowerment anthem.
Kesha’s album, Rainbow, was her first since filing a lawsuit against producer Dr. Luke for sexual assault and battery in 2014. The suit eventually expanded to include her parent label, Sony, claiming that individuals at the company knew about and enabled Dr. Luke’s abuse. Since then, it’s been an incredibly messy legal battle with countersuits involving Dr. Luke and Kesha’s mom, and injunctions with the intent of getting the singer released from her contract with the producer’s company, Kemosabe Records (which lives under the Sony umbrella). Litigation is still ongoing, which makes Kesha’s “Praying” an especially powerful track for her to sing with a small army of women onstage during “music’s biggest night,” especially after Monáe spoke on behalf of the Time’s Up movement and told the Grammys crowd, “Just as we have the power to shape culture we also have the power to undo the culture that does not serve us.”