Kesha’s “Praying” Neglected at Grammy Awards, Fans Upset

Grace Faulhaber, Deputy Editor

#MeToo, a powerful movement centered around the strength and courage of men and women and their traumatic experiences with harassment and repression, is rocking the world in the best possible way.

The popularity of the movement exploded in early October 2017 when multiple women accused Harvey Weinstein, a film producer, of sexual assault. The courage that Ashley Judd had to be the one to share her personal story first with the entire world started a domino effect that inspired others to share their stories. Using #MeToo has allowed females to feel united and comforted in the fact that their stories will not be undermined. Power in numbers is the key to success.

But the Grammy Academy was clearly not listening close enough.

The January 28 Grammys presented Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” with the “Best Pop Solo Performance” award. Controversy sparked right after the winner was announced, but why exactly? Ed Sheeran is one of the world’s most popular musicians and is constantly producing chart toppers, so what could be the issue?

Other song nominations for this title included “Love So Soft” by Kelly Clarkson, “Reasons” by Lady Gaga, “About Us” from Pink and “Praying” by Kesha. Do you notice a pattern? All of the nominees were women, expect Sheeran’s, the winner.

The real reason people were angered by the results of the award was because of Kesha’s lack of full acknowledgment for “Praying.” Although Sheeran is a deserving artist for many reasons and whose songs are unique and catchy, given the occasion of the rise #MeToo movement, it is discouraging to see Kesha walk away with nothing. Sheeran’s song, “Shape of You,” highlights his love for the female body and the “shape of” women. In comparison, Kesha’s song is meant to empower women and reassure them that they are worth more than just their physical appearance. “Praying’ symbolizes strength and overcoming mental, physical, and emotional pain; it is much more than just lyrics with a catchy beat.

Kesha is a singer/songwriter who has been in the music industry for over twelve years now. Her fame skyrocketed when she released her single “Tik-Tok” in 2010. What many people do not realize though was that behind the scenes, she dealt with all kinds of abuse from her music producer, Dr. Luke. When Kesha decided to sue him nearly four years after she was signed with him, Mark Geragos, Kesha’s lawyer, claimed that Dr. Luke “sexually, physically, verbally, and emotionally abused [Kesha] to the point where [she] nearly lost her life,” according to Billboard.

At the Grammy awards, Kesha was assisted by fellow female artists including Camila Cabello, Cyndi Lauper, Julia Michaels, Andra Day, and Bebe Rexha, to assist in what turned out to be an outstanding and emotional performance of “Praying.” Kesha was left in tears after her outstanding, emotional performance. The crowd was amazed, and many fellow stars thought that Kesha would receive the award for sure.

Ed Sheeran is of course a fan-favorite, and will continue to be; although given the occasion, it would have made a bigger impact on the audience and people all around the world if Kesha received the title. She is a living example of how goodness overpowers evil, and how there is always a light at the end of the tunnel no matter what the situation. Instead of hastily choosing a winner, the organizations granting awards should think longer about the circumstances and the social impact surrounding the purpose of the lyrics.