Following a video message from President Barack Obama and an emotional, poignant speech from domestic violence activist Brooke Axtell, Katy Perry showed a different side at the Grammys than her high-energy, colorful Super Bowl Halftime performance.
Obama’s message was a PSA encouraging artists to take a stand condemning rape and violence against women. Specifically citing statistics of rapes on college campuses, Obama urged the night’s attendees to be more vocal in activism against assault.
Axtell served as an example of the power in speaking out. A survivor of domestic violence, Axtell shared her story in a room-silencing spoken word piece before introducing Perry. Axtell is the Director of Communications for Allies Against Slavery, but also uses performance art to speak out against domestic violence.
Wearing all white and in front of dancing shadows, Perry belted out the powerful piano ballad “By the Grace of God,” off Prism. Perry allowed the song and powerful statements that came before her to take center stage. It’s a huge shift from the Perry who performed one week earlier and brought an explosion of color and energy to the Super Bowl alongside Missy Elliott and Lenny Kravitz.
Since 2009, Perry has been nominated for 13 Grammy Awards, but has yet to snag a trophy. This year, both Prism and her single “Dark Horse” were nominated in the Pop categories. In 2014, Perry was joined by Juicy J for a performance of her Grammy-nominated “Dark Horse.” In 2011, she turned “Teenage Dream” and “Not Like the Movies” into an emotional medley for the awards show.
Following this, Perry will be bringing her Prismatic World Tour to Europe and Asia through May.