Celebrities Empower Fellow Women

Michelle Obama’s surprise appearance at the Grammys


Photo courtesy of Magen McMillian

The 61st annual Grammy Awards started with a bang. Five celebrated stars walked onto the stage; the host Alicia Keys, former First Lady Michelle Obama, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, as well as performers, Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez.

They spoke boldly about how music empowered them as young women and the importance of expressing yourself, even for non-musicians.

“Whether we like country, or rap or rock, music helps us share ourselves — our dignity and sorrows, our hopes and joys,” Obama said. “It allows us to hear one another, to invite each other in.”

Keys also spoke about how music brings people together and how the symphony helps everyone express their feelings to one another, through everything from love songs to hip hop.

“You know, everybody is out here shining, and I’m so proud to bring us together, to honor this moment,” Keys said. “Because music is what we cry to. It’s what we march to. It’s what we rock to. It’s what we make love to. It’s our shared global language, and when you really want to say something, you say it with a song.”

For many, along with Lady Gaga, music lets them escape reality and to take control of their circumstances.

“They said I was weird, that my look, my choices, my sound, that it wouldn’t work,” Gaga said. “But music told me not to listen to them. Music took my ears, took my hands, my voice and my soul and it led me to all of you and to my little monsters who I love so much.”

Pinkett Smith touched on the idea that everyone deserves to listen to other people’s feelings.

“We express our pain, power and progress through our music, whether we’re creating it or just appreciating it,” Pinkett Smith said. “But here’s what I know: Every voice we hear deserves to be honored and respected.”