Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivers message to Grammys: “Support us in any way but silence”

Written by on 04/04/2022

Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered a video message to the Grammys 2022 tonight (April 3), urging the world not to be silent on the country’s plight.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, with the invasion of the European country ongoing. According to the UN, 1,179 Ukrainian citizens have been killed and 1,860 more injured as of March 29.

  • READ MORE: Ukrainian band Antytila talk to us from the frontline ahead of benefit show: “We try to show people some light”

Zelenskyy sent a pre-taped video message from Kyiv to the annual awards show, calling for the support of those watching as the war continues. “What is more opposite to music?” He began. “The silence of ruined cities and killed people. Our children draw swooping rockets, not shooting stars. Over 400 children have been injured and 153 children died. And we’ll never see them drawing. Our parents are happy to wake up in the morning in bomb shelters, but alive.

“Our loved one 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 armour instead of tuxedos. They sing to the wounded in hospitals, even those who can’t hear them. But the music will break through anyway.

He continued: “We defend our freedom. To live. To love. To sound. On our land, we are fighting Russia, which brings horrible silence with its bombs. The dead silence. Fill the silence with your music. Fill it today, to tell our story. Tell the truth about this war on your social networks, on your TV.”

“Support us in any way you can. Any – but not silence. And then peace will come. To all our cities the war is destroying – Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Volnovakha, Mariupol and others. They are legends already, but I have a dream of them living and free. Free like you on the Grammy stage.”

Following the message from Zelenskyy, John Legend performed a tribute to Ukraine with his new song ‘Free’. Poets and musicians from the country joined him for the song, which includes lyrics such as: “Lay down soldiers / Lay down those weapons / Let peace rush in.”

To help Ukraine, you can donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee‘s (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, Médecins Sans Frontières, UNICEF, or The UN Refugee Agency.

The Grammys 2022 is taking place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas tonight, after the show was postponed from its planned January event due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Other performers set to appear tonight include H.E.R., Nas, Justin Bieber, and more.

Silk Sonic opened the show with a performance of ‘777’, while Olivia Rodrigo delivered a powerful version of her breakout single ‘Drivers License’. BTS, meanwhile, became undercover agents for a stunning rendition of ‘Butter’, and Lil Nas X and Jack Harlow teamed up for a grand performance.

Foo Fighters were also scheduled to perform at the ceremony, but cancelled their appearance after the death of Hawkins last week (March 25). The band have won three Grammys so far today, including Best Rock Album for ‘Medicine At Midnight’. Billie Eilish used her rain-soaked performance of ‘Happier Than Ever’ to pay tribute to the late drummer.

Other early winners include Kanye West for Best Melodic Rap Performance for ‘Hurricane’ and Best Rap Song for ‘Jail’, Tyler, The Creator for Best Rap Album for ‘Call Me If You Get Lost’, and Olivia Rodrigo for Best Pop Solo Performance for ‘Drivers License’. You can keep up with all of the winners from the main ceremony as they happen here.

The post Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivers message to Grammys: “Support us in any way but silence” appeared first on NME.

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