*On more than one occasion, the “Black Lives Matter” mantra was front and center at the 57th Grammy Awards on Sunday.
Pharrell Williams — who went home with three trophies (best urban contemporary album, best pop performance) — led a “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” demonstration during his performance of “Happy.” Williams paid homage to 18-year-old, unarmed Michael Brown, who was killed by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo.
Williams’ backup dancers wore black hoodies, such as 17-year-old Trayvon Martin did when he was killed in 2012 by George Zimmerman.
Before presenting Beck with the album of the year award, Prince reminded the audience of the influential movement. “Albums still matter. Like books and black lives, they still matter.”
During Beyonce’s gospel performance of “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” the all-male choir behind her raised their hands, also acting out the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” gesture.
Images of Ferguson protesters flashed during a montage shown behind country singer Eric Church’s performance of “Give Me Back My Hometown.” The screen also featured images of police brutality, war and protests before concluding on an American flag covered in words such as “truth,” “solidarity” and “home.”