Here is the full transcript of Ms. Monáe’s comments:
Tonight, I am proud to stand in solidarity as not just an artist, but a young woman, with my fellow sisters in this room who make up the music industry. Artists, writers, assistants, publicists, C.E.O.s, producers, engineers and women from all sectors of the business. We are also daughters, wives, mothers, sisters and human beings. We come in peace, but we mean business.
And to those who would dare try to silence us, we offer you two words: Time’s up. We say time’s up for pay inequality, time’s up for discrimination, time’s up for harassment of any kind, and time’s up for the abuse of power. Because you see, it’s not just going on in Hollywood, it’s not just going on in Washington, it’s right here in our industry as well. And just as we have the power to shape culture, we also have the power to undo a culture that does not serve us well.
So, let’s work together, women and men, as a united music industry committed to creating more safe work environments, equal pay and access for all women. And as artists so often do, our next performer embodies the great tradition of delivering important social messages through their music. This fearless, two-time Grammy nominee inspired so many of us — including myself — when she spoke her truth on her album, “Rainbow,” which was nominated for best pop vocal album tonight. Here to sing “Praying,” joined by Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello, Andra Day, Bebe Rexha, Julia Michaels and the Resistance Revival Chorus, we are honored to stand with you and welcome you, Kesha.
Kesha, who became pop’s symbol of the fight against sexual assault when she accused her longtime producer Dr. Luke of years of abuse, sang her ballad “Praying.” (Dr. Luke, whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald, has strongly denied the accusations, and no criminal charges have been filed.) At the end of the song, the women who performed alongside Kesha surrounded her in a giant hug of support.
James Corden, the show’s host, said after Kesha’s performance that “music often resonates more than spoken word ever could.”
“That was an incredibly powerful and relevant performance that comes in the midst of a movement that commands our attention and our support,” he said.