Recording artist, producer and actress Janelle Monae sounded the first notes of protest at tonight’s 60th Grammy Awards.
In her introduction to a performance by Kesha – who had a high-profile court case involving sexual assault at the hands of her producer and was performing a song about the ordeal, called Praying – Monae sounded a call for an end to discrimination.
“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,” said Monae. “We are also daughters, wives, mothers and human beings. We come in peace, but we mean business.”
She added: “To those who would dare try to silence us, we offer you two words: “Time’s Up.”
Monae said it was Time’s Up for pay and inequality, discrimination, harassment of any kind, and for the abuse of power. “Not just in Hollywood or in Washington. It’s right here in our industry as well. We also have the power to undo the culture that does not serve us well. So let’s work together, women and men, as a united music industry committed to creating more safe work environments, with equal pay and access for all women.”
Monae’s own music has had six Grammy nominations. In 2016, she had major roles in two feature films, Hidden Figures and the Academy Awards Best Picture winner, Moonlight.