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President Volodymyr Zelensky gives an emotional speech at the Grammy Awards


“Support us in any way you can,” he added. “Any, but not silence.”

After Zelensky’s speech, John Legend performed his song “Free” with Ukrainian singer Mika Newton and poet Lyuba Yakimchuk, who had fled the country a few days ago.

Here is Zelensky’s full speech:

War. What is more opposed to music? The silence of the ruined and murderous cities. Our kids draw swooping rockets, not shooting stars. More than 400 children were injured and 153 children died. And we will never see them paint. Our parents were happy to wake up in the morning in the bomb shelter. But still alive. Our loved ones don’t know if we’ll ever be together again. War does not allow us to choose who survives and who remains in perpetual silence. Our musicians wear armor instead of tuxedo. They sing for the wounded in the hospital, even for those who cannot hear them. But the music is going to be groundbreaking anyway. We defend our freedom to live, love, sound on our land. We are fighting Russia, which brings terrible silence with its bombs. Dead silence. Fill the silence with your music. Fill it out today to tell our story. Tell the truth about your war on social media, on TV. Support us in any way you can. Any – but not the silence. And then peace will come. For all of our cities, the war ravaging – Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Volnovakha, Mariupol and others – they are already legendary. But I have a dream about them being alive and free. Free like you on the Grammy stage.

Many in the music industry have made public statements opposing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and showing support for the Ukrainian people. On Sunday night at the Grammys, the Recording Academy teamed up with Global Citizen to highlight “Stand up for Ukraine” initiative.

The three major record companies – Sony, Warner Music and Universal Music – all have suspended in Russia In response to the war, along with Live Nation, the touring giant released a statement saying the company would “stop working with any and all suppliers based in Russia”. Spotify has suspended its streaming service in Russia and closed its Moscow office.

The musicians have also pledged solidarity with Ukraine, canceling concerts and speaking out on social media. Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Björk, the Killers, AJR, Iggy Pop and others have withdrawn from regional shows. Pink Floyd and David Gilmour have removed some of their music from digital vendors in Russia and Belarus, writing in a statement on Twitter The move was an attempt to “stand with the world in strongly condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

And artists have given beneficial concerts across the globe. Arcade Fire held a last-minute benefit show in New Orleans in March, donating all the proceeds of the pay-you-can event to a relief fund for citizens in Ukraine. In the days that followed, the band says it has raised more than $100,000 after donating proceeds from additional performances in New York. Ed Sheeran, Camila Cabello, Nile Rodgers and others played a beneficial concert in the UK last week. At a fundraiser in New York, where she performed with Gogol Bordello, a band with Ukrainian roots, Patti Smith announced a $50,000 donation to Doctors Without Borders on behalf of Yoko Ono and Sean Ono Lennon.

Rachel Sherman contribution report.





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