CULTURE

2017 Grammys: Jennifer Lopez Made a Moving Political Statement at the Award Ceremony

“Our voices are needed more than ever.”


Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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.”

Grammys 2017: See What Everyone Wore on the Red Carpet

Recording artist Adele attends The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

John Shearer

Recording artist Halsey attends The 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

John Shearer

Recording artist Desiigner attends The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

Lester Cohen

Singer-songwriter Tinashe attends The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

Frazer Harrison

Paris Jackson attends The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

Alberto E. Rodriguez

Singer Santigold attends The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

Frazer Harrison

Demi Lovato attends The 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

John Shearer

Singers Leon Bridges and Brittni Jessie attend The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

Frazer Harrison

Jennifer Lopez attends The 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

John Shearer

Actor Lea Michele attends The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

Lester Cohen

Producer Diplo attends The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

Jon Kopaloff

Recording artist Jill Scott attends The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

Frazer Harrison

Singer Camila Cabello attends The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

Frazer Harrison

Singer Tori Kelly attends The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

Frazer Harrison

Actor/singer Kat Graham attends The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

Frazer Harrison

Rapper Rick Ross attends The 59th GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

Lester Cohen

Nick Jonas attends The 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

Frazer Harrison

Jason Derulo attends The 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

Steve Granitz

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill attend The 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

John Shearer

Carrie Underwood attends The 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

Steve Granitz

Heidi Klum attends The 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

John Shearer

Katharine McPhee attends The 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

John Shearer

Charli XCX attends The 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

John Shearer

Laverne Cox attends The 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

John Shearer

Remy Ma and Fat Joe attend The 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

John Shearer

Katy Perry attends The 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

Céline Dion attends The 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

Joe Scarnici

Lil Yachty attends The 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

John Shearer

DJ Khaled, Asahd Tuck Khaled, and Nicole Tuck attend The 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

John Shearer

Chance the Rapper attends The 59th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on February 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. See their full red carpet look, here.

Frazer Harrison
1/30

Jennifer Lopez has never wanted to blend in: