The 59th Grammys: Laverne Cox calls for support of Gavin Grimm, Adele honors George Michael and more!

The 59th Grammy Awards took place tonight and included wins for several LGBTQ artists, as well as some notable speeches and moments. Model Martina Robledo, who happens to be transgender, was one of the night’s three trophy presenters who bring the trophies on stage to be given to winners. Robledo is the first trans woman to be a Grammys trophy presenter. She said she would like to let young trans people “know there is a better world out there for us.”

Laverne Cox took her stage moment to ask people to "google Gavin Grimm [...] #StandwithGavin" and included a shout out to "all my gender non-binary peeps" while introducing bisexual musican Lady Gaga. In 2015, Grimm filed a lawsuit against his Virginia school district's discriminatory restroom policy.

Adele performed a special tribute to pop icon George Michael who passed late last year with a performance of his 1996 single "Fastlove." Michael came out in 1998 and fronted a documentary about HIV and AIDS to coincide with World AIDS Day in the same year. Michael has sold over 100 million albums worldwide with his debut solo album Faith selling more than 20 million alone. He is one of the top-selling British acts of all time, and has charted eight number one singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

Pentatonix took home the award in Best Country Due/Group Performance for their duet of “Jolene” with Dolly Parton. Pentatonix also performed an a capella version of The Jackson 5 hit "ABC." The cast recording for the Broadway revival of The Color Purple won the Grammy in Best Musical Theater Album. The Beatles: Eight Days a Week The Touring Years won the Grammy in Best Music Film. The film featured historical footage of the Beatles manager Brian Epstein, who was gay.

Several stars used their platform to speak to the need for diverse, inclusive stories and unity.

A Tribe Called Quest, Anderson .Paak, Busta Rhymes, and Consequence performed a medley of songs including the anthem "We The People," dedicating their performance to "all those people around the world who are pushing people in power to represent them." The performance included busting through a literal wall before bringing up a diverse group of people, raising their fists, and chanting "Resist!"

 

 

Host James Corden opened the show with a rap number calling for unity of all groups: “We sit here tonight, no matter our race, or where we were born, or color of face. Using this song remember forever, we can survive by sticking together.” Check out a clip of Corden’s number below.

Previous GLAAD Media Award honoree Jennifer Lopez took the stage to present the first award. She took a moment to talk about the importance of stories: “At this particular point in history, our voices are more important than ever.” She went on to quote Toni Morrison, saying, “This is precisely the time when artists go to work. […] We do language, that is how civilizations heal.”

While accepting the Grammy in Best Urban Contemporary Album, Beyonce spoke about the importance of representation. She said, "It’s important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty, so they can grow up in a world where they look in the mirror – first through their own families, as well as the news, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House, and the Grammys, and see themselves, and have no doubt that they’re beautiful, intelligent, and capable. This is something I want for every child of every race, and I feel it’s vital that we learn from the past and recognize our tendencies to repeat our mistakes."

Paris Jackson called for support of the water protectors who are fighting development of the Dakota Access Pipeline, referencing the #NoDAPL movement on stage. Katy Perry, wearing a “resist” armband, ended her performance with a cry of “no hate!” against a projection of the Preamble to the United States Constitution.

Together, we resist the powers that seek to divide us. We stand with all marginalized communities, and in unity we declare to resist, persist and prevail against hateful and non-inclusive legislation, policy and rhetoric. Join GLAAD’s Together campaign now.

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