After a brief monologue, Alicia Keys was joined at the 2019 Grammy Awards by Jada Pinkett Smith, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Michelle Obama.
The women all embraced onstage while the audience gave them a standing ovation.
Each special guest took the microphone to share what music means to them. Here's what they said:
"They said I was weird. That my look, my choices, my sound, that it wouldn't work. But music told me not to listen to them. Music took my ears, took my hands, my voice and my soul, and it led me to all of you and to my Little Monsters, who I love so much."
Lopez said music is what reminds her "where she's come from," but also "of all the places we can go."
"Back in the Bronx, music gave me a reason to dance," J.Lo said. "It kept me moving from the block to the big stages and even bigger screens."
Jada Pinkett Smith
“We express our pain, our power, and our progress through music whether we’re creating it or just appreciating it,” said Jada Pinkett Smith. “Here’s what I know, every voice that we hear deserves to be honored and respected.”
“From the Motown records I wore out on the south side to the ‘Who Run the World’ songs that have fueled me for this past decade, music has always helped me tell my story,” Obama said. “Music helps us share ourselves: our dignities, our sorrows, our hopes, our joys... Music shows us that all of it matters. Every story within every voice, every note within every song.”
"Tonight we celebrate the greatness in each other, all of us, through music," Keys said, adding to the female-dominated speech, "who runs the world?"