Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a surprise video message at the 2022 Grammy Awards. The pre-recorded video message had been filmed 48 hours prior to the event in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. The message played before John Legend’s live performance of his composition ‘Free’ as part of a special tribute to Ukraine which is under a Russian invasion currently.
“The war. What’s more opposite to music?” asked the Ukrainian president while appearing on the Grammys telecast. Zelensky went on to elaborate how music is a strong symbolic opposition to war. He stated, “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. 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.”
The Ukrainian President further said, “On our land, we are fighting Russia which brings horrible silence with its bombs. The dead silence.” He also urged the attendees to “fill the silence” with their music. “Fill it today, to tell our story. Support us in any way you can. Any, but not silence. And then peace will come,” he continued.
John Legend’s special performance was introduced by host Trevor Noah. He said while introducing the performance, “Even in the darkest times, music has the power to lift spirits and give you hope for a brighter tomorrow. There’s nobody who could use a little hope right now more than the people of Ukraine.”