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Janelle Monáe’s Powerful #TimesUp Speech Deserves Its Own Grammy

"We come in peace, but we mean business."

Dozens of famous faces walked Sunday’s Grammys red carpet wearing white roses in solidarity with the Time’s Up movement. Introducing Kesha to the stage for her performance of “Prayer,” Janelle Monáe took the power protest one step further. The singer and actress took  the opportunity to deliver a passionate speech in favour of gender equality: “To those who would dare try and silence us, we offer you two words: Time’s up. We say time’s up for pay inequality, discrimination or harassment of any kind, and the abuse of power,” she preached to the crowd.

Ready to be feel empowered? Read the full transcript of the speech below:

“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, CEOs, 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 and silence us, we offer you two words: Times Up. We say Times Up for pay inequality, Times Up for discrimination, Times Up for harassment of any kind, and Times 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 the 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.”

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