“One thing that has always made music so powerful is the way it responds to the times,” host Trevor Noah said prior to Legend taking the stage. Music lifts spirits, something Ukraine could use, and he introduced a pre-taped video from Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy. In the video, the president spoke of Russia’s invasion of his country.
“What is more opposite to music? The silence of ruined cities and killed people. Our children draw swooping rockets, not shooting stars. … The war doesn’t let us choose who survives and who stays in eternal silence. Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedoes. They sing to the wounded in hospitals, even to those who can’t hear them. But the music will break through anyway,” Zelenskyy said in the video. “Fill the silence with your music! Fill it today, to tell our story. … Support us in any way you can … but not silence.” Watch his speech below.
— Heidi Steinberg 🌻🌻 (@heidisteinberg) April 4, 2022
Legend then took to the stage for a performance of “Free,” during which he was joined by Ukrainian musician Siuyzanna Iglidan, Ukrainian singer Mika Newton (whose sister is serving in the army), and Ukrainian poet Lyuba Takimchuk (who had fled her country just days ago).