Grammy winner Alicia Keys revved up the protesters at the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. on Saturday before performing her hit song “Girl on Fire.”
Keys began with lines from Maya Angelou’s poem “Still I Rise,” beginning with, “Out of the huts of history’s shame/ I rise/ Up from a past that’s rooted in pain/ I rise…”
“Now I know you’ve been hearing a lot of talking and we all have so much to say inside of us. I just want to thank you so much for your courage,” she said. “Thank you so much for your womanly-ness. Thank you so much for your strength. Thank you so much. Let us continue to honor all that is beautiful about being feminine. We are mothers, we are caregivers, we are artists, we are activists, we are entrepreneurs, doctors, leaders of industry and technology. Our potential is unlimited. We rise.”
Keys continued, “We will not allow our bodies to be owned and controlled by men in government — or men anywhere, for that matter. We will not allow our compassionate souls to get stepped on. We want the best for all Americans — no hate, no bigotry, no Muslim registry. We value education, healthcare, and equality. We will continue to rise until our voices are heard, until our planet’s safety is not deferred, until our bombs stop dropping in other lands, until our dollar is the same dollar as a man’s, and we continue to recognize that yes we can, until everyone respects mother energy and everyone with a bellybutton must agree.”
The singer led the crowd in chanting lyrics from “Girl on Fire”: “We are here. We’re on fire, living in a world that’s on fire, feet on the ground, not backin’ down.” She then belted the song’s refrain, changing some of the lyrics to sing, “These girls are on fire.”
Watch video from the Women’s March in Washington below, and skip to around the eight-minute mark to see Keys’ entrance.
Keys was followed up by a speech from actress-singer Janelle Monae, adding even more celebrity power to the marches assembling around the world in protest of President Donald Trump.