When you write a powerful song about forgiving your rapist and get nominated for a Grammy, you may end up losing that award to a man who wrote a song about being horny and loving the shape of women's bodies. At the 60th annual Grammy Awards that aired on Jan. 28, Kesha, a woman controlled and sexually abused by her music producer since the age of 18, wrote a song about forgiving and healing her abuser, that was nominated in the Best Pop Solo Performance category as Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You.” However, Kesha ending up losing to a song, ironically, about sex and body image.
"This song is about coming to feel empathy for someone else even if they hurt you or scare you," Kesha said to Lenny Letter, an online feminist newsletter. "It's a song about learning to be proud of the person you are, even during low moments when you feel alone."
Ed Sheeran, singer and songwriter of the song “Shape of You” was up against strong women such as Kesha, P!nk, Lady Gaga and Kelly Clarkson; however American society proved to care more about sex rather than forgiveness, heartbreak, inequality and even abuse.
During the Grammys, many people brought a white rose to show solidarity for people who have been sexually assaulted, encouraging the "Me Too" movement where Kesha was one of the first women to step out against being abused in Hollywood. Kesha herself even acknowledged the movement during a heart wrenching performance of “Praying,” where she was joined by other female artists, including Cyndi Lauper, Camila Cabello and Andra Day. Yet, the Grammy still went to a man singing about having sex and “loving the shape” of a woman.
After an ongoing five-year battle in court with Dr. Luke, Kesha’s abuser, Kesha has yet to win the rights to her own music. Her journey has been devastating to watch, but the music that came out of it is her newest album, titled “Rainbow.”
The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) refused to acknowledge Kesha’s battle with her music and kept to the typical “American standard” of rewarding a man for his thoughts about sexualizing a woman’s body. It seems as though NARAS failed to use their platform properly and show the world that good things do happen to people who fight against injustices and inequality in the world.
Many celebrities took to twitter to express their feelings about the controversy. "‘Ed Sheeran’ is a hell of a way to mispronounce ‘Kesha,’” tweeted Entertainment Weekly’s Digital Features Editor Marc Snetiker. Rukmini Callimachi, who expressed many faults about the Grammy’s, said “Ed Sheeran just won a Grammy. No one seating near me in my row thought he had a chance over Kesha. Perhaps he felt the same because he’s not here to pick up his Grammy. Who doesn’t show up to pick up their golden statuette?”
Regardless of the outcome, Kesha’s struggle didn’t go unnoticed, and people are rightfully proud of her.
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