Pharrell Williams and other presenters and performers at the Grammy Awards 2015 show, like Prince, Stevie Wonder, and Beyoncé, gave a powerful message throughout the evening that #BlackLivesMatter. Pharrell and the others showed their support for people like Michael Brown, 18, from Ferguson, Missouri, by supporting the #BlackLivesMatter movement in response to what many feel were the unjust deaths of young unarmed black men at the hands of armed white policemen.
For example, during his performance at the Grammy Awards show of one of his biggest hits, Happy, Pharrell Williams, 41, raised his hands up into the air, as did the male backup dancers onstage with him who wore black hoodies, much like 17-year-old Trayvon Martin’s clothing the night he was shot and killed in Florida. They did this as a sign of their support for the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” part of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
Pharrell Williams had help from pianist Lang Lang and the composer Hans Zimmer as he sang and transformed the song into one that carried an important political message about the racial injustice that still exists in the United States. Williams won three Grammys, making him one of the night’s biggest winners, only second to Sam Smith, who won four. One of the Grammys that Pharrell William won was for Best Video of the Year, and the two others were for Best Pop Performance and Best Urban Contemporary Album. He humbly gave the credit of having won the Grammys to God.
Prince, like Pharrell Williams, also made mention of the #BlackLivesMatter movement right before he presented the Album of the Year award to rocker, Beck. Prince stated to the audience that, “Like books and black lives,” albums “still matter.”
Then, during a very powerful rendition by Beyoncé of the gospel song Precious Lord Take My Hand, written by Thomas A. Dorsey, the all-male choir behind her raised their hands, just as the backup dancers had who were behind Pharrell Williams.
Jamie Foxx and Stevie Wonder presented one of the other Grammys of the evening. Stevie Wonder stated that all of us need to “come together and fix all that’s wrong.”
Usher did a moving tribute to Stevie Wonder, as well. Diversity was one of the main themes of the tribute. Also, actress and presenter, Gina Rodriguez, who stars in Jane the Virgin, stated during her introduction of Colombian singer Juanes that much can be accomplished “When people of various backgrounds work together.”
Though there are some people who do not like it when awards shows, like the Grammys, are, as they see it, taken over by people who have a political agenda, whenever celebrities or sports figures take up a cause, more people become aware of it and the message seems to resonate that much more powerfully with the general public. Pharrell Williams, Beyoncé, Stevie Wonder, Usher, and others at the Grammy Awards show showed their support of the movement at one of the year’s biggest musical awards shows. They showed by their musical performances that they support the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Black lives, like all lives, do matter.
Written By Douglas Cobb