‘Fill the silence with your music,’ Zelenskyy tells Grammys

Category: Top Stories


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. tuxedo / tʌkˈsi doʊ / (n.) – a suit that men wear during formal occasions

    The groom’s tuxedo was made by a famous designer.

  2. the wounded / ðə ˈwun dɪd / (n.) – people who have suffered injuries

    Medical volunteers brought the wounded to the hospital.

  3. gruesome / ˈgru səm / (adj.) – extremely unpleasant or disgusting

    Eric suffered gruesome injuries after the terrible accident.

  4. sanction / ˈsæŋk ʃən / (n.) – an action taken to urge a country to follow international laws

    The UN has imposed sanctions against the country for violating some laws.

  5. atrocity / əˈtrɒs ɪ ti / (n.) – an extremely cruel or violent act

    The victims were traumatized after experiencing atrocities from the soldiers.


Read the text below.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared in a video message at the Grammy Awards to ask for support in telling the story of Ukraine’s invasion by Russia.

During the pre-recorded message that aired on the show Sunday, he likened the invasion to a deadly silence threatening to extinguish the dreams and lives of the Ukrainian people, including children.

“Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos. They sing to the wounded in hospitals, even to those who can’t hear them,” he said in English. “But the music will break through anyway.”

The Recording Academy, with its partner Global Citizen, prior to the ceremony highlighted a social media campaign called “Stand Up For Ukraine” to raise money and support during the humanitarian crisis.

“Fill the silence with your music. Fill it today to tell our story. Tell the truth about the war on your social networks, on TV, support us… in any way you can. Any, but not silence… And then peace will come to all our cities,” Zelenskyy said.

Following Zelenskyy’s message, John Legend performed his song “Free” with Ukrainian musicians Siuzanna Iglidan and Mika Newton, and poet Lyuba Yakimchuk, as images from the war were shown on screens behind them.

The war in Ukraine had taken a particularly gruesome turn Sunday when Ukrainian forces entering the town of Bucha, recently held by Russian soldiers, found bodies of people who had been shot, some after being bound and tortured. Ukrainian authorities accused the Russians of war crimes, and European leaders called for tougher sanctions against Moscow. Russia said the atrocities had been committed by Ukrainians.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • President Zelenskyy appeared in a video message at the Grammy Awards to ask for support after Russia invaded Ukraine. Do you agree with using a major event for this purpose? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • John Legend performed his song “Free” with Ukrainian musicians. Do you think celebrities should be involved in serious issues like the Russia-Ukraine war? What do you think is the impact of their involvement (ex. more people will follow their example, their safety will be at risk)? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • “Stand Up For Ukraine” is a social media campaign that aims to raise money and support. How much impact do you think campaigns like this have in convincing people to support a cause? Discuss.
  • European leaders called for tougher sanctions against Moscow. Do you think this action is enough to control the war? Why or why not? Discuss.