The singer-songwriter performed her emotional ballad “Praying” alongside fellow artists Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Bebe Rexha, Julia Michaels, Andra Day and others. The performance began with the lights dimmed and about two dozen women wearing white onstage and harmonizing: “Sometimes, I pray for you at night. Someday, maybe you’ll see the light.”
The performance was emotional, powerful and cathartic, especially in light of the night’s Time’s Up theme that led many stars to wear white roses to support the anti-sexual harassment initiative. Kesha wrote “Praying” after a tumultuous legal battle with her former producer Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, whom she accused of sexual assault and battery.
When the song finally ended, Kesha teared up and all of the women onstage embraced in an emotional hug.
A few minutes after performing, Kesha thanked the women who performed with her in a tweet.
Actress Janelle Monae introduced Kesha with a powerful statement.
“Tonight I am proud to stand in solidarity as not just an artist, but a young woman with my fellow sisters in this room who make up the music industry,” Monae told the crowd. “Artists, writers, assistants, publicists, CEOs, producers, engineers, women from all sectors of the business. We are also daughters, wives, mothers, sisters and human beings. We come in peace, but we mean business. And to those who would dare try to silence us, we offer you two words: Time’s up.”
Kesha explained in a tweet posted on Saturday just how much it meant to her that she was performing “Praying” at Sunday’s Grammys.
“When I wrote praying, with Ben Abraham and Ryan Lewis, I just felt as if I had gotten a huge weight off of my shoulders,” she tweeted. “It felt like an emotional raw victory for myself, one step closer to healing. I never could have known what would’ve happened these past few years.”
In a July 2017 essay for Lenny Letter, Kesha explained what the emotional and personal song was about.
“This song is about coming to feel empathy for someone else even if they hurt you or scare you. It’s a song about learning to be proud of the person you are even during low moments when you feel alone,” she wrote. “It’s also about hoping everyone, even someone who hurt you, can heal.”
The riveting performance was not lost on viewers. Many people tweeted how moved they were by the song and the beautiful performance.