John Legend Shares Inspiring Message Behind Grammy’s ‘Free’ Efficiency With Ukrainian Artists: ‘It’s a Prayer For Peace’


After an inspiring name to conscience from Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, John Legend owned the 2022 Grammy Awards stage on Sunday evening (April 3) for a soul-stirring efficiency of his new tune, “Free.” It was becoming that he was slowly joined by a sequence of Ukrainian artists, together with Odessa, Ukraine-born Siuzanna Iglidan, who backed him up on the bandura, a conventional Ukrainian folks instrument, after which Ukrainian singer Mika Newton.



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The rousing efficiency of the ballad that interpolated bits of the non secular “Go Down Moses” got here residence with a studying from a Ukrainian poet who simply fled her residence nation days earlier, Lyuba Yakimuchuk. Early Monday morning (April 4), Legend posted a sequence of tweets explaining the emotional origin story of his plea for peace and tribute to the human spirit.

“‘FREE’ was impressed by the spirituals and hymns of my enslaved and oppressed African-American ancestors, who have been impressed by the Outdated Testomony story of Moses main his individuals to liberation from slavery,” Legend defined. The singer went on to name the ballad a “prayer… for peace all through the world. A prayer for all of the dispossessed and dislocated. The refugees of each nationality, faith and pores and skin coloration, eager for a secure place to dwell and flourish. Those that are left apart and forgotten.”

“Lay down troopers/ Lay down these weapons/ Let peace rush in,” Legend sang on the Grammys. “Let it wash by way of the valley, soar by way of the mountains/ Fall within the deepest blue sea/ Let it fly ‘cross the sky in a banner so excessive/ That even the rockets will see.”

A month and a half into Russian president Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked battle on Ukraine, the world discovered extra in regards to the brutality of the assault over the weekend when photos of murdered civilians piled in mass graves have been revealed in Bucha, northwest of the capital of Kyiv after the retreat of Putin’s troops. The horrific scenes impressed requires a battle crimes investigation of Putin, whose assault on the democratic former Soviet satellite tv for pc nation has resulted in additional than 3,400 civilian casualties up to now, together with 1,417 killed and a pair of,038 injured.

Legend continued, saying “FREE” was additionally written as a tribute to those that are “unjustly languishing in our jails and prisons. These affected by what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., referred to as the three best evils: poverty, militarism and racism… Those that are boldly talking out in opposition to these evils, regardless of the threats to their lives or livelihoods.”

He then particularly tagged the inspiration to the horrors of watching Putin’s aggression, saying he penned it per week into the battle. “It may be paralyzing to see battle being waged by huge nation-states with costly weapons,” he wrote. “I wrote FREE after per week of seeing the horrific photos of the mindless, brutal invasion of Ukraine by a regime with no ethical justification — no proper to kill, dominate and subjugate the Ukrainian individuals, no proper to silence the desire of the individuals in a democratic nation.

Absolutely conscious {that a} tune can’t cease a battle alone, Legend stated he was spurred to write down “FREE” as his prayer, his contribution to the “refrain of voices calling for peace and freedom for all individuals. I hope every of us can discover our personal technique to contribute to this refrain. Could we drown out the voices and forces of hate, bigotry and authoritarianism. Could we make our world actually FREE.”

Take a look at Legend’s tweets beneath.


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