Grammys: Annie Lennox calls for ceasefire in Gaza, sparks backlash from pro-Israelis

"Artists for ceasefire. Peace in the world."

06 Feb 2024 02:06pm
Scottish singer-songwriter Annie Lennox (left) performs on stage during the 66th Annual Grammy Awards at the Arena in Los Angeles. Photo by Valerie Macon/AFP
Scottish singer-songwriter Annie Lennox (left) performs on stage during the 66th Annual Grammy Awards at the Arena in Los Angeles. Photo by Valerie Macon/AFP

SHAH ALAM - Scottish singer-songwriter Annie Lennox made a heartfelt plea for a cease-fire in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict while paying tribute to Sinéad O’Connor during the in-memoriam segment of Sunday night’s Grammy Awards.

After delivering a moving rendition of O’Connor’s iconic song “Nothing Compares 2 U,” Lennox became the first artist to use such a high-profile platform to express solidarity with Palestine, calling for a halt to the violence in Gaza during her performance.

Following her emotional performance, honouring her late friend who passed away at 56 last July, Lennox raised her fist in the air and shouted passionately to the crowd.

"Artists for ceasefire. Peace in the world," Lennox making a powerful statement for peace and unity on Sunday night.

According to the online News Portal, Rolling Stone, Lennox was not alone in her support of Palestine at the Grammys.

"Artists for ceasefire" seems to be a reference to the group Artists4Ceasefire, which wrote an open letter to President Joe Biden calling for an immediate cease-fire and peaceful resolution in the conflict between Israel and Gaza in order to stop more deaths from occurring.

"We urge your administration, Congress, and all world leaders to honour all the lives in the Holy Land and call for and facilitate a ceasefire without delay, an end to the bombing of Gaza, and the safe release of hostages," reads a section of the letter.

Annie Lennox signed the letter along with other well-known celebrities like Gigi Hadid, Andrew Garfield, and Jennifer Lopez.

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Many fans around the world praised Annie Lennox for becoming the first popular singer to call for a ceasefire during the Grammy Awards, and she was welcomed as such.

On the X platform, user @mattxiv expressed, "Annie Lennox finishing Sinead O’Connor’s song by calling for a ceasefire was perhaps the most meaningful and honest way to honour Sinead's memory."

This follows the legacy of the late Sinead O'Connor, who passed away in July, known for her vocal advocacy on various issues. Notably, she protested the Catholic church's child sexual abuse scandals on "Saturday Night Live" in 1992 and cancelled a show in Israel in 2014 in solidarity with Palestine.

User @pianoballads applauded Lennox, saying, "Annie Lennox saying 'artist for ceasefire' let's go!!!! That's how you use a platform for good."

Echoing the sentiment, @inovajon remarked, "Artists willing to stand up for peace are few and far between. They are risking their careers, and they should be celebrated. Thank you, Annie Lennox."

The gesture, nevertheless, also caused controversy as pro-Israel people retaliated against her for pleading for peace.

Former United Nations special envoy against anti-Semitism Noa Tishby criticised the move on the X platform, stating, "Tonight the Grammys were hijacked in favour of Hamas' agenda."

Another tweet from @acailler questioned Lennox's call for a ceasefire, stating, "Did Annie Lennox explain exactly how she wants a ceasefire to happen? No? Oh well, here we go, ignoring the performative bulls**t from idiots like Annie Lennox."

User @LoveMy7Wood remarked, "Annie Lennox could have said 'Free the hostages' before calling for a 'ceasefire' on the Grammies but chose not to."

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