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A Mix of Politics and Music at the Grammys

29 January, 2018

This is What's Trending today...

Politics co-starred with music at the 60th Grammy awards Sunday night in New York City.

Perhaps the most surprising non-artist to appear? Former Secretary of State and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. She took part in a skit making fun of President Donald Trump and his leadership.

Clinton pretended to be seeking work as the voice for the spoken word recording of Michael Wolf's best-selling book "Fire and Fury." His book describes an unfavorable representation of Trump's first year in office.

Hillary Clinton seen on a monitor at the Grammy Awards reading from the book,
Hillary Clinton seen on a monitor at the Grammy Awards reading from the book, "Fire and Fury."

Along with Clinton, John Legend, Cher, Snoop Dogg, Cardi B and DJ Khaled also "auditioned" for the part.

Grammys host James Corden told Clinton that she defeated the competition to win. "The Grammy's in the bag?" Clinton questioned. Political observers say Clinton thought a presidential win for her was also "in the bag," or very sure and secure.

United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley did not see the humor in the skit. "I have always loved the Grammys, but to have artists read the Fire and Fury book killed it," she tweeted. "Don't ruin great music with trash. Some of us love music without the politics thrown in it."

Neil Portnow, head of the recording academy, defended the skit. He told the Associated Press that he thought Clinton's appearance was more satirical than political.

The president's son, Donald Trump Jr., tweeted: "Getting to read a #fakenews book excerpt at the Grammys seems like a great consolation prize for losing the presidency."

Singer/actor Janelle Monae gave a well-received speech at the ceremony. She said the music industry needed to face its sexual harassment and gender discrimination issues, just like Hollywood.

"To those who would dare try and silence us, we offer you two words: Time's Up."

Monae introduced singer Kesha. She has long sought to break her business agreement with her producer, who she says raped her. Kesha's song Praying included the lyrics, "After everything you've done, I can thank you for how strong I have become."

Cuban American singer Camila Cabello spoke out for legal protection for "dreamers" -- immigrants who entered the United States illegally as children but do not have legal status. "This country was built by dreamers for dreamers," she said.

Cabello introduced a pre-recorded performance by the Irish band U2, who sang their song "Get Out of Your Own Way." The band performed on a boat in the New York harbor with the State of Liberty behind the musicians. The statue serves as a symbol of American freedom and a sign of welcome to immigrants from all over the world.

And that's What's Trending today.

I'm Caty Weaver.

Caty Weaver adapted this story for Learning English based on AP news reports. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

Write to us in the Comments Section or on 51VOA.COM.


Words in This Story

skit - n. a short, funny story or performance

pretend - v. to act as if something is true when it is not true

audition - v. to try out for a role in a play or film, a position in an orchestra, etc.: to perform in an audition

in the bag - expression certain; sure to happen

consolation - n. something that makes a person feel less sadness, disappointment, etc.

excerpt - n. a small part of a longer written work