NEW YORK: With Sting performing Englishman in New York, Shaggy joining in with “a Jamaican in New York” and American rapper Logic shouting out “You’re not s**tholes” – the 60th Grammy Awards turned out to be quite a statement against US President Donald Trump’s crude remark on the immigrants.
Sting on Sunday night sang his 1987 track, the lyrics for which are “Oh, I’m an alien/I’m a legal alien/I’m an Englishman in New York”, in the city where the Grammy Awards returned after 15 years.
The song was rightly chosen to resonate with the immigration debate, which was sparked after the US media reported that Trump described African nations, along with Haiti and El Salvador, as “s**thole countries” supplying undesirable immigrants to the US.
On January 11, Trump lashed out at immigrants in a foul-mouthed Oval Office outburst before several lawmakers and said, “Why are we having all these people from s**thole countries come here?” the Washington Post had reported.
Sting was joined on stage by Shaggy, and they performed together their new single Don’t Make Me Wait, from their forthcoming album 44/876.
Shaggy then joined Sting for Englishman in New York, ad-libbing that he was “a Jamaican in New York.”
Later, young Cuban-Mexican singer Camila Cabello delivered an empowering speech about undocumented immigrants known as ‘Dreamers’, who were offered protection from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy by the earlier administration, which Trump ended in 2017.
“Tonight in this room full of music’s dreamers, we remember that this country was built by Dreamers for Dreamers chasing the American dream. I’m here on this stage tonight because just like the Dreamers, my parents brought me to this country with nothing in their pockets, but hope,” said Cabello, who was born in Cuba and lived in Mexico before moving to Miami when she was six.
On her own journey, she said: “They showed me what it means to work twice as hard and never give up. And honestly, no part of my journey is any different than theirs. I’m a proud Cuban-Mexican immigrant born in Eastern Havana.
“Standing in front of you on the Grammy stage in New York City and all I know is just like dreams, these kids can’t be forgotten and are worth fighting for.”
Cabello introduced the iconic band U2, which is from Ireland, to the stage to celebrate New York City. The performance was laid out against the backdrop showcasing the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty in all its glory.
The final punch came in from Logic during the closing performance of the Grammy Awards night as in the midst of his performance of his hit 1-800-273-8255, he said: “You are not a s**thole.”
In a speech addressing marginalised communities, Logic said, “Black is beautiful, hate is ugly.”
“Women are as precious as they are stronger than any man I’ve ever met. And unto them, I say stand tall and crush all predators under the weight of your heart that is full of the love they will never take away from you. Be not scared to use your voice,” was Logic’s take on #MeToo campaign.
He added, “Stand and fight for those who are not weak but have yet to discover the strength that the evil of this world has done its best to conceal.”
“To all the beautiful countries filled with culture, diversity and thousands of years of history. You are not a s**thole. You are beautiful. And lastly, on behalf of those who fight for equality in a world that is not equal, not just and not ready for the change we are here to bring. I say unto you bring us your tired, your poor and any immigrant who seeks refuge. For together, we can build not just a better country but a world that is destined to be united,” the singer concluded.
Logic, along with Alessia Cara and Khalid, addressed the suicide prevention with their rendition of 1-800-273-8255, named after the real phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which offers free and confidential assistance to people in distress.
They made a statement with a group of suicide survivors and family members of suicide victims joining them on stage.
Have something to add to the story? Share it in the comments below.