Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the 64th Grammy Awards on Sunday, speaking in a pre-recorded segment shown at the MGM Grand Garden Arena Sunday before John Legend performed a tribute to the war-torn country.
Zelenskyy urged the artists to “tell our story” of a country that has been attacked by Russian troops since February. He described the impact on life and music.
“Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos. They sing for the wounded in hospitals,” Zelenskyy said. “Even for those who can not hear them, but their music will break through.”
“In any case, we defend our freedom. To live. To love. To sound,” he said.
Zelenskyy ended the speech list of Ukrainian cities under siege. “I have a dream of living them, and free. Free like you and the Grammy stage,” he said.
Legend performed his tribute “Free” on stage, along with Ukrainian poet Lyuba Yakimchuk and Mika Newton, a Ukrainian singer who sang a verse in the Ukrainian song.
Oscar host Amy Schumer had said she hoped Zelenskyy would address the Oscars last weekend.
“I want to sleep that night, knowing I’ve done my part to be aware of some of the terrible things that are happening, including (what’s happening) in Florida and Texas. The whole world is on fire,” he said. told Schumer for USA Today before the Oscars.
Mar. the Ukrainian president did not appear at the show.