Grammys 2022: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses audience

"Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos," Zelenskyy said.

April 03, 2022, 10:25 PM

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the audience Sunday at the 64th Grammy Awards.

In a video message, Zelenskyy delivered a somber message of hope as Ukraine continues to fight against Russian forces who first invaded on Feb. 24.

"The war. What is more opposite of music? The silence of ruined cities and killed people. Our children draw swooping rockets, not shooting stars," Zelenskyy said. "Over 400 children have been injured and 153 children died, and we'll never see them drawing. Our parents are happy to wake up in the morning in bomb shelters, but alive. 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."

PHOTO: Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appears on screen during the 64th Grammy Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, April 3, 2022.
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appears on screen during the 64th Grammy Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, April 3, 2022.
Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images

"Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos. They sing to the wounded in hospitals. 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," he continued. "On our land, we are fighting Russia, which brings horrible silence with its bombs. The dead silence. Fill the silence with your music! Fill it today. To tell our story. Tell the truth about this war on your social networks, on TV. Support us in any way you can. Any - but not silence. And then peace will come."

Following Zelenskyy's video message was John Legend, who performed his new song "Free." Joining him onstage were Ukrainian artists Siuzanna Iglidan, Mika Newton and Lyuba Yakimchuk.

PHOTO: Mika Newton, John Legend, and Siuzanna Iglidan perform onstage during the 64th GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena, April 3, 2022, in Las Vegas.
Mika Newton, John Legend, and Siuzanna Iglidan perform onstage during the 64th GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena, April 3, 2022, in Las Vegas.
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

According to on-screen notes, Newton's sister is in the Ukrainian army and Yakimchuk fled Ukraine just days ago.

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