by Natalie Dest
Although the Grammy Awards are a night of celebration for a wide variety of musicians, drama is bound to surface when it comes down to who takes home which award. For the 2018 Grammys, it did not take long for people to start voicing their opinions, this time involving Ed Sheeran’s win over Kesha at the award ceremony.
30-year-old Kesha and 26-year-old Sheeran were both nominated for the same two awards: Best Pop Solo Performance with Sheeran’s hit single “Shape of You” and Kesha’s comeback single “Praying,” with an additional nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album with Sheeran for “Divide” and Kesha for “Rainbow.”
As these categories were up for grabs, Sheeran ended up winning both awards. Although he was not there to accept, many found it rather shocking that the pop-star won above his competing female nominees; specifically Kesha.
It was especially frustrating that Kesha left empty handed for both fans and other artists; not only because her returning album “Rainbow” is a strong piece of work, but also because this particular nomination felt so important for the pop singer.
This year’s Grammy nomination was a first for Kesha, one very much deserved and long awaited. “Rainbow” was her return to the spotlight record that powerfully spoke to victims of sexual abuse in a raw and intense way. It was also the final product of a years-long battle with her producer and sexual abuser, Dr. Luke.
This album featured the singer’s leading and emotional single “Praying,” symbolizing her triumph over the horrors she has overcome. The artist has stated that her album “Rainbow,” particularly “Praying,” “quite literally saved my life.”
She had written the album after filing a lawsuit back in 2014 alleging that music producer Dr. Luke drugged her and was physically, sexually and mentally abusive, which he has denied since being accused. After the almost five-year battle in court, Kesha finally had won the rights to her own music. The tragic journey was devastating to witness, but the musical creation that came out of it is inspiring.
Many fans found her songs deeply personal, and her nominations were a powerful message to many sexual abuse survivors that it’s possible to rise up and keep staying strong. Her heartfelt performance of “Praying” at the Grammy’s specifically made it even more difficult to comprehend why she had lost both awards.
Many fans online took to Twitter to share their opinions on the matter of Kesha’s losses.
@greedyforari tweeted, “Kesha really did go through hell and back to release Praying and get nominated for a Grammy, only to lose to an Ed Sheeran song about how he likes a woman’s body. #GRAMMYS.”
@natalievasquez tweeted, “Kesha was most likely going to use her winner speech to talk about overcoming her rape, sexual assault and eating disorder, and Ed Sheeran doesn’t even bother to show up.”
@ericalves tweeted, “By the way, we all know Kesha deserved Best Pop Solo Performance far more than Ed Sheeran, right? #GRAMMYS.”
The uproar in emotions and opinions towards Kesha’s strength has proven just how strong a positive impact she has made upon not only the music industry, but on individual lives, despite her loss the night of the Grammys.
The Grammys will not change the fact that “Rainbow” is an incredible album, and that Kesha is an inspirational person regardless.