Image: Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Introduces John Legend’s Ukraine Tribute At 2022 Grammys

Amid Ukraine’s ongoing invasion by Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shared a pre-recorded message at the 2022 Grammys, urging people not to be silent about Ukraine’s struggle before introducing a performance led by John Legend.

What’s more opposite to music? The silence of ruined cities and killed people,” Zelenskyy said. “Our children draw swooping rockets, not shooting stars. Over 400 children have been injured and 153 children died. And we’ll never see them drawing. Our parents are happy to wake up in the morning in bomb shelters, but alive. Our loved one don’t know if we will be together again. The war doesn’t let us choose who survives and who stays in eternal silence,” he continued.

“Our musicians wear body armour instead of tuxedos. They sing to the wounded in hospitals, even to those who can’t hear them, but the music will break through anyway. We defend our freedom. To live, to love, to sound. On our land, we are fighting Russia, which brings horrible silence with its bombs. The dead silence. Fill the silence with your music. Fill it today, to tell our story. Tell the truth about this war on your social networks, on your TV.

“Support us in any way you can. Any – but not silence. And then peace will come. To all our cities the war is destroying – Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Volnovakha, Mariupol and others. They are legends already, but I have a dream of them living and free. Free like you on the Grammy stage.”

Legend then performed a new song, ‘Free’, joined by musician Siuzanna Iglidan, singer Mika Newton and poet Lyuba Yakimchuk, all three of whom are Ukrainian. Watch Zelenskyy’s address below.

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