Michelle Obama, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, and Jada Pinkett-Smith opened up the 2019 61st Annual GRAMMYs Awards with a powerful and very bold statement that needed to be heard. Introduce the segment, Keys said, “Do you feel that love in the building? This is love. This is life, this is living, this is light and all because of music. Music is so powerful. … I want everybody in here, might be feeling a little nervous, might be feeling a little you know a lot of energy, just let your shoulders drop, just know that I got you. I’m going to take care of you tonight. I got you tonight. Music is what we all love, music is what it’s all about. Everybody is out here shining and I’m so proud to bring us together to honor this moment because music is what we cry to, it’s what we march to, it’s what we rock to, it’s what we make love to. It’s our shared global language.”

Keys then introduced her “sisters,” who walked down from center stage hand in hand to the roaring standing ovation from the packed house inside the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. Gaga making her statement first saying, “They said I was weird, That my look, my choices, my sound; that it wouldn’t work. But music told me not to listen to them. Music took my ears. Took my hands. My voice and my soul. And it led me to all of you and to my Little Monsters [fans], who I love so much.”

Jennifer Lopez saying, “Back in the Bronx, music gave me a reason to dance from hip-hop to freestyle, pop, soul and salsa. And it kept me moving from the block to the big stages and to even bigger screens,” Lopez said. “It reminds me where I come from, but it also reminds me of all the places that I can go. Music has always been the one place we can feel truly free.”

Pinkett-Smith went on to speak of the importance of diversity and acceptance: “We express our pain, power, and progress through music whether we’re creating it or just appreciating it. But here’s what I know: Every voice we hear needs to be honored and respected.”

Former First Lady Michelle Obama told the GRAMMYs viewers, “From the Motown Records I wore out on the South Side….,” Roaring applause from the crowd which Obama allowed them to calm before continuing her speech then saying, “Alright. We have a show to do. From the Motown records I wore out on the South Side, to the ‘Who Run the World’ songs that fueled me through this last decade, music has always helped me tell my story. And I know that’s true for everybody here. Whether we like country, or rap or rock, music helps us share ourselves; our dignity and sorrows, our hopes and joys. It allows us to hear one another, to invite each other in. Music shows us that all of it matters. Every story within every voice, every note within every song. Is that right ladies?”

“Tonight we celebrate the greatness in each other, all of us, through music,” Keys said. “Who runs the world? Thank you so much ladies for your light, your message, your love, your sisterhood. I love y’all so much. Give it up for these magnificent goddesses.”

See their full opening below:

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Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

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