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Monday, 9 February 2015

From a lesbian promotion tune ‘’I kissed a girl’’ to a ‘Christian’ tune ‘’ By the Grace of God: Katy Perry Performs 'By the Grace of God' at Grammys 2015: Obama, Katy Perry in Grammy push on domestic violence

Katy Perry
Katy Perry performs on stage at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb. 8, 2015.
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images  
 

Grammys 2015: Katy Perry Performs 'By the Grace of God'



By Denise Warner

Fresh off her Super Bowl halftime show, Katy Perry slowed things down at the 2015 Grammys.

Perry took the stage to sing "By the Grace of God." As her introduction, a domestic violence survivor gave an impassioned speech about love and being human.


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Obama, Katy Perry in Grammy push on domestic violence
Obama, Katy Perry in Grammy push on domestic violence
Singer Katy Perry attends The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards at the STAPLES Center on February 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. Jason Merritt/Getty Images/AFP

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US President Barack Obama and superstar Katy Perry teamed up Sunday to turn the Grammys -- for a few minutes -- into a campaign against domestic violence.

Toward the final hour of the music industry's biggest night, Obama appeared unexpectedly on an overhead screen at a Los Angeles arena to urge fans to speak out against violence against women.

"Right now, nearly one in five women in America has been a victim of rape or attempted rape. And more than one in four women has experienced some form of domestic violence," Obama said.

"It's not okay. And it has to stop," Obama said.


US President Barack Obama. PHOTO/AFP

Soon afterwards, domestic violence survivor and activist Brooke Axtell took to the stage and told her harrowing story.

"After a year of passionate romance with a handsome, charismatic man, I was stunned when he began to abuse me," Axtell said.

"I believed he was lashing out because he was in pain and needed help. I believed my compassion could restore him and our relationship. My empathy was used against me.

"I was terrified of him and ashamed I was in this position," Axtell said.

Perry -- usually known for her elaborate performances including during halftime of last week's Super Bowl -- then proceeded to sing one of her more unadorned songs, the ballad "By the Grace of God."

Attention to domestic violence has been growing in the United States in part due to abuse cases involving prominent athletes.

Domestic Violence Survivor Brooke Axtell (performed with Katy Perry) poses in the press room during The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards at the STAPLES Center on February 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images/AFP
Obama said that artists "have a unique power to change minds and attitudes."

Moments beforehand, Pharrell Williams performed a rendition of his viral hit "Happy" with the pianist Lang Lang that paid a quiet tribute to a movement to stop police brutality against African Americans.

Williams, one of the most nominated stars of the evening, made a "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" gesture with his dancers, who were wearing black hoodies.