Cyndi Lauper is proud of the "act of sisterhood" she and other female musicians displayed at this year's Grammy Awards.
The music icon took to the stage in an emotional performance with Kesha, Andra Day, Camila Cabello, Bebe Rexha, Julia Michaels, and members of the Resistance Revival Chorus. The all-female collective sang Kesha's "Praying," dedicating it to the #MeToo movement that's currently sweeping through the entertainment industry.
In an interview with Billboard, Lauper shares what the performance meant to her, describing it as an "act of sisterhood."
"It's a powerful thing," she says. "We were there to support Kesha."
"And it's important when someone is brave enough to come out and tell their story, you know, to support her," Lauper tells People on the red carpet before the ceremony.
Time's Up On Inequality, Lauper Declares
Besides standing by her fellow musician, Lauper stresses that the performance is also meant as a display of solidarity to all women and survivors of sexual harassment. The "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" singer explains that it's the time to get educated on the different issues that spurred the Time's Up and #MeToo movements.
"Time's up on the power struggle," Lauper says. "Women need a safe work place, and it's not one. We're 51%, we need to stand together."
Lauper points out that equality benefits women, but men as well.
Kesha's Emotional Performance
Singing "Praying" onstage at the 2018 Grammy Awards is not only meaningful for its relevance in the Hollywood climate, but also for its context to Kesha.
In 2014, Kesha shocked the industry when she accused music producer Dr. Luke of sexual, physical, and mental abuse. Her claims of abuse span a decade as the pair worked together. Dr. Luke denies all the allegations and the lawsuit was dismissed as it was past the statute of limitations. The singer was also denied the request to be released from her contract with Sony-owned label Kemosabe Records.
Kesha's recent album Rainbow is still produced by Kemosabe Records, but Dr. Luke has been removed as CEO of the label in April 2017.
Rainbow is the singer's first album in five years. After lawsuits, eating disorders, and a period of music drought, she released the single "Praying" that addresses an unnamed individual who "put me through hell," but she eventually wishes peace.
The album was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album, while her song was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Performance.
"'Cause you brought the flames and you put me through hell," Kesha sings at the awards ceremony. "I had to learn how to fight for myself, and we both know all the truth I could tell. I'll just say this, I wish you farewell."
Kesha ended the powerful performance in tears as the crowd gave the collective a standing ovation. She took to Twitter to express her gratitude at the reception.
“after everything you've done I can thank you for how strong I have become”
thank you to the @RecordingAcad, the women on stage with me tonight, and everyone who has supported me through this whole journey. pic.twitter.com/43gOsofL0S
— kesha (@KeshaRose) January 29, 2018