Pharrell’s usual upbeat performance of “Happy” took a serious turn at the 57th Grammy Awards Sunday.
The award-winning artist, alongside his backup dancers and a chorus, gave the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” gesture at performance’s end. The phrase has been chanted by millions who protested the death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown after he was shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri in August of last year.
Social media users gave a nod to Pharrell for the brief moment. Others pointed out the hooded sweatshirts worn by his backup dancers in a paean to Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teen who was shot by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. Martin was wearing a hoodie when he was killed in 2012.
“Too busy on Twitter worrying about outfits and didn’t even realize this. Salute to you Pharrell,” wrote @SvmmieLee in a tweet.
Outside of the tribute, social media users were quick with jokes about Pharrell’s outfit choice. Many likened him to the bellhops seen in Disney’s “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” and Rob Schneider in “Home Alone 2.”
The singer was also joined on stage by composer Hans Zimmer, who earned an Oscar nomination for “Interstellar,” and Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang.
At performance’s end, Pharrell looked up and said, “As you can see, I’m at your service, Lord.”
Here are more reactions to the singer’s performance:
pharell you gained a little bit of my respect pic.twitter.com/CzxjCqBCJp
— Loren From BGC Stan (@godmanikordslay) February 9, 2015
— Robin Rachae (@RobinRachae) February 9, 2015
— Graham Cawthon (@GrahamCawthon) February 9, 2015
who wore it better pharell or estabon from suite life of Zach and cody. pic.twitter.com/dlSwHMMjM0
— Cody ♛ (@ThatBroBeck) February 9, 2015