Jennifer Lopez is the latest celebrity to make a politically-charged statement on an awards-show stage. At the 2017 Grammy Awards, Lopez presented the first award of the evening—Best New Artist. But before naming the nominees and the winner, J. Lo took time to make a powerful stand.
Lopez opened her speech by reminiscing about her first Grammy Awards. "I will never forget my first Grammy nomination—or the dress I wore that night," she joked, before getting serious. "But, yes, this night is not about dresses or even the awards,"she continued. "It is about the music, the words, and the voices. How they move us, inspire us, and touch all our lives. At this particular moment in history, our voices are needed more than ever."
J. Lo's speech was immediately met with applause, and she continued on to quote Toni Morrison in her call to action. "As Toni Morrison once said, 'This is precisely the time when artists go to work,'" Lopez said. "'There is no time for despair, no place for self pity, no need for silence, and no room for fear. We do language. That is how civilizations heal.'"
To finish, Lopez brought it back to the reason for the evening: The music. "So tonight, we celebrate our most universal language— music," she said. "And as we honor the voices of the past and present, here's to the new voices."
Jennifer Lopez has never wanted to blend in: