Volodymyr Zelenskyy Implores People ‘Tell the Truth About This War’ in Taped Grammys Address (Video)

Recording Academy goes where the Oscars didn’t during the 2022 Grammys

The recording academy did what the film academy didn’t during the Grammy Awards on Sunday: a pre-taped address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who implored the audience to “tell the truth about this war” and painted a stark portrait of what like is like for Ukrainians under the continuing invasion by Russian forces.

“The war. What is more opposite to music? The silence of ruined cities and killed people. Our children draw smoking rockets, not shooting stars. Over 400 children have been injured and 153 children died,” Zelenskyy said.

“And we’ll never see them drawing. Our parents are happy to wake up in the morning in bomb shelters. But alive,” he continued. “Our loved ones don’t know if we will be together again. The war doesn’t let us choose who survives and who stays in eternal silence.”

“Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos. They sing to the wounded. In hospitals,” Zelenskyy said also.

“Even to those who can’t hear them. But the music will break through anyway. We defend our freedom. To live. To love. To sound. On our land, we are fighting Russia, which brings horrible silence with its bombs,” the Ukrainian leader added. “The dead silence. Fill the silence with your music. Fill it today. To tell our story. Tell the truth about the war and on your social networks and on TV.”

“Support us in any way you can. Any – but not silence,” Zelenskyy said as he concluded. “And then peace will come. To all our cities the war is disrupting, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Volnovakha, Mariupol and others
They are legends already but I have a dream of them living. And fee. Free like you on the Grammy stage.”

Zelenskyy shot the video — which played before a performance by John Legend — from a bunker in Kyiv.

Sean Penn, who is filming a documentary on the Ukraine war, was so insistent that Zelenskyy be part of the Oscars, he said it would be “the most obscene moment in all of Hollywood history“ if the Ukrainian leader wasn’t invited and threatened to melt down his two Oscars.

Amy Schumer also wanted Zelenskyy to appear at last week’s ceremony and producer Will Packer didn’t rule it out. But given everything that went down that night, maybe it’s better that Zelenskyy’s message was followed by Legend singing his moving new song, “Free,” which included lines from the spiritual “Go Down Moses (Let My People Go).”

Legend was accompanied by Ukrainian singer Mika Newton from the city of Burstyn, and Lyuba Yakimchuk from the city of Donbas, who read a poem.

Their performance played out in front of a screen showing scenes from the Ukraininan war, including a small child holding a Ukrainian flag. Viewers were asked to donate at forUkraine.com.