The 57th GRAMMY Awards featured their share of sociopolitical statements intertwined with the scheduled musical performances. A public service announcement from President Barack Obama about violence against women and girls preceded Katy Perry’s performance of ‘By the Grace of God.’ Domestic violence survivor and activist Brooke Axtell joined the pop singer, who was fresh off of a Super Bowl XLIX halftime performance.
Beyonce and Pharrell’s respective performances were highlighted by tributes to the ‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ protests, while Pharrell’s backup singers wore hoodies as a tribute to slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin. Beyonce sang ‘Take My Hand Precious Lord’ clad in a white gown, and her accompanying musicians also held their hands up to mimic the ‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ protest. It was a solemn moment after the earlier levity of Beyonce thanking her online legion of fans, collectively referred to as the ‘Beyhive,’ earlier in the broadcast.
“We must come together and fix all of this that’s wrong.”Stevie Wonder began trending on both Facebook and Twitter after performing with Usher and exchanging barbs with actor and comedian Jamie Foxx. Wonder had been making references to Eric Garner and Michael Brown during his 2014 performances. Much like Prince, he offered a brief message regarding unity.