Michelle Obama made a surprise appearance at the Grammy Awards Sunday, joining host Alicia Keys and other women, including Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith and Jennifer Lopez, to speak about the impact of music on their lives.
Ouch? You’d have thought the honor would have gone to Melania Trump, well, because she’s the current First Lady.
Or Ivanka Trump. After all, she’s just been tapped by the President to head up a new “Women’s Global Development and Prosperity” Initiative. It’s aimed at empowering women in the developing world.
But, no, Michelle Obama took the stage to wild cheers from the audience at Los Angeles’ Staples Centre on Sunday (Feb. 10)
“From the Motown records I wore out on the South Side to the ‘Who Run the World’ songs that fueled me through this last decade, music has always helped me tell my story,” Obama said.
“Music helps us share ourselves. Our dignity and sorrows, our hopes and joys. It allows us to hear each other and to invite each other in. Music shows us that all of it matters.”
Grammy host, and multiple Grammy winner Alicia Keys introduced her “sisters” to the stage during her opening monologue.
“It is so exciting to be here because music is what we all love. Music is what it’s all about. You know, everybody is out here shining and I’m so proud to bring us together, to honor this moment. Cause 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, am I right? Or am I right?
So, let’s just be honest. This is a celebration, and y’all didn’t think I was coming out here by myself, did you? Please, can I bring some of my sisters out here tonight?”
Gaga told the audience how she was dismissed when she began her career. Now, she’s one of the Grand Dames of Music.
“They said I was weird. That my look, my choices, my sound, that it wouldn’t work. 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,” she said.
Lopez also had a star-crossed career. Her a comeback at 41 got off to a rocky start with a New Year’s Eve 2010 performance that was savaged by critics.
She’d spent nearly four years out of the limelight after getting married and giving birth to twins. But the show helped lift her profile and gave her a chance to showcase her talents. Now, she’s back on top.
In 2016, she starred in the crime drama series “Shades of Blue” and began a Las Vegas residency, “Jennifer Lopez: All I Have,” at Planet Hollywood. Last year, she started producing and serving as a judge on “World of Dance.”
She’s been dating Yankee great Alex Rodriguez last year as well. They appeared together at the Grammys.
“Back in the Bronx, music gave me a reason to dance. From hip-hop to freestyle, pop, soul and salsa. And it kept me moving and it kept me moving from the block to the big stages and even bigger screens,” she said.
“It reminds me where I come from, but it also reminds me of all the places I can go. Music has always been the one place we can all feel truly free.”
Pinkett-Smith paid tribute to all those who make music.
“We express our pain, power and progress through our music whether we’re creating it or just appreciating it. But here’s what I know: every voice we hear deserves to be honored and respected.”
Alicia then thanked the “magnificent goddesses” for joining her on stage.
Michelle later shared a picture of the group together and admitted she was “thrilled” to join her friend Alicia at the event.
She tweeted: “A big part of friendship is showing up for your girls—that’s why I was thrilled to be there for the one and only @aliciakeys at the #GRAMMYs.
She is one of the most genuine and thoughtful people I know—there’s no one better to help us all celebrate the unifying power of music!”
Ivanka must have felt the sting of rejection the most, given that she’s now advocating women’s empowerment.
The program includes a $50 million fund that will be distributed by USAID. It hopes to empower 50 million women in developing countries by 2025. Nice, we guess, but that only works out to a dollar per person. Good luck, with that.
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