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U2 to Open Grammys With Kendrick Lamar, Kesha’s Performance to Have a #MeToo-Theme

Bono and Adam Clayton of U213th
Photo Credit: Joe Papeo/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

As the Grammy Awards grow closer, details about the show have begun to creep out, many of which were teased in various media reports over the past few days.

Sources tell Variety that the show will open with a pre-recorded segment of U2 performing on a barge in the Hudson River, as suggested in a Crain’s New York report last week. According to one source, the pre-taped performance will play, and then the show will cut to the band onstage with Kendrick Lamar at Madison Square Garden, presumably performing “Get Out of Your Own Way,” the song from U2’s latest album “Songs of Experience” that featured Lamar. An E! News report says that Dave Chappelle, who was announced as a presenter earlier this week, will also take part. (A Grammy rep could not confirm the information from Variety‘s source.)

While the Grammys have shied away from saying that a #MeToo moment will be an official part of the show — executive producer Ken Ehrlich told Variety last week, “I don’t want to go into it, but I suspect over the course of the night it will be addressed” — sources say that Kesha, who has become a symbol of the #MeToo movement due to her 2014 lawsuit in which she alleges that former collaborator and label chief Dr. Luke raped her, will perform her ballad “Praying” with Cyndi Lauper, Camilla Cabello, Julia Michaels and Andra Day. That news was first reported by The New York Times.

Ehrlich noted that the show prefers to let the artists be the ones making statements. “We try to provide the artists with the artistic freedom to address these issues, which are very important to them,” he told Variety. “We neither encourage nor discourage them but we don’t shy away from them if it’s relevant.”