"Our musicians wear body armour instead of tuxedos."
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a surprise video appearance at the 2022 Grammy Awards on Sunday, where he delivered a speech about music and his country's fight against Russia.
Zelenskyy spoke in English from his bunker in Kyiv, where he's well into the second month of defending his country from an invasion.
"What is more opposite to music? The silence of ruined cities and killed people," he told the Grammy audience.
"Our musicians wear body armour instead of tuxedos. They sing to the wounded in hospitals, even to those who can't hear them. But the music will break through anyway."
The Ukrainian leader went on to list off the number of children killed so far in the fight.
"On our land, we are fighting Russia which brings horrible silence with its bombs. The dead silence," he said. "Fill the silence with your music. Fill it today to tell our story."
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses the #GRAMMYs:\n\n\u201cWe 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.\u201dpic.twitter.com/8bAP29TMcl— The Recount (@The Recount) 1649037500
Zelenskyy then urged the crowd and the viewers at home to talk about the Russian invasion of Ukraine on social media, "and then peace will come."
Zelenskyy's appearance came as a surprise to many, although it was not entirely unexpected. There had been talk last week that the Ukrainian president might make an appearance at the Oscars, although those plans clearly didn't come together.
Grammy host Trevor Noah introduced Zelenskyy's video at the awards show.
"Even in the darkest times, music has the power to lift spirits and give you hope for a brighter tomorrow," he said. "And there's nobody who could use a little home right now more than the people of Ukraine."
John Legend performed immediately after Zelenskyy's speech, and he was joined on stage by Ukrainian artists Siuzanna Iglidan, Lyuba Yakimchuk and Mika Newton.
It was an honor to perform FREE tonight along with Lyuba Yakimchuk, Siuzanna Iglidan, Mika Newton, and our incredible choir.pic.twitter.com/7zYHep1mJG— John Legend (@John Legend) 1649045872
"I know I can't end any wars with a song," Legend later wrote on Twitter. "But I had to write this song as my prayer, my contribution to the chorus of voices calling for peace and freedom for all people. I hope each of us can find our own way to contribute to this chorus."
- Here's Why Russia Is Really Invading Ukraine & Why It Hasn't ... ›
- Zelenskyy Says He's 'Very Grateful' For 'Dear' Trudeau & They're On ... ›
- Zelenskyy Asked Trudeau To Imagine If Canada Was Bombed ... ›
- The BTS Army Is Furious At The 'Scammys' After A Second Straight Grammy Snub - Narcity ›
- Justin & Hailey Bieber's Grammys Outfits Are Getting Totally Roasted Online (PHOTOS) - Narcity ›
- Billie Eilish Had The Perfect Grammys Tribute To Late Foo Fighters Drummer Taylor Hawkins - Narcity ›
- The UN Just Suspended Russia From Its Human Rights Council Over 'Gross' Abuses In Ukraine - Narcity ›
- Zelenskyy Told Canadian University Students They Can Help By Reminding Leaders Of The War - Narcity ›