Katy Perry‘s new single “Chained to the Rhythm” enjoyed its live debut at the Grammys on Sunday. It’s a groove-heavy song with blatant nods to downtown 1980s New York – the title echoes Grace Jones’ 1985 classic “Slave to the Rhythm” – and the disco era from a few years before.
Perry’s performance was introduced by the country vocal group Little Big Town, who sang an a cappella snippet of “Teenage Dream.” The pop star then hit the stage in a white suit, dancing around the edge of an enclosure surrounded by a picket fence. Part of the fence eventually disappeared to reveal Perry collaborator and Bob Marley’s grandson Skip. After he delivered his verse, dancers rearranged the entire fence structure behind Perry and Marley to show a picture of the Constitution – in particular the phrase, “We the people.” “No hate!” shouted Perry.
On Tuesday, Perry started to tease an unreleased track on Instagram with a video clip showing a foot chained to a disco ball. The next day, hardcore fans were able to hear the new single before it hit stores via special disco balls that Perry unveiled at several locations around the world. “Chained to the Rhythm” saw official release on Friday.
The single was co-written and co-produced by Max Martin, in attendance at the Grammys on Sunday, who has worked on 22 No. 1 hits – making him one of the most successful pop songwriters in history. Perry and Martin have a long history of successful collaboration: they also worked together on previous Perry hits like “I Kissed a Girl,” “Teenage Dream” and “California Gurls.”
Perry previously performed at the Grammys in 2015 and 2014. Though she has been nominated at the annual ceremony 13 times – four times in 2011 alone – Perry has never won an award.