Kesha didn’t perform during Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards, but the chart-topping Rainbow singer appeared at the ceremony to make a powerful statement about suicide prevention.
The singer, whose comeback album hit the top of Billboard after its release, introduced Logic’s performance of “1-800-273-8255,” a song that takes its name from the suicide prevention hotline.
“It has been said that if you knew who walked beside you, you would never experience fear and doubt again,” Kesha said, before noting that Logic’s song brought her to tears. “The truth is piercing and the truth is what matters. The truth is none of us are alone,” she said.
After promoting the suicide prevention hotline, Kesha introduced Logic’s performance, which featured Alessia Cara and Khalid along with people Kesha described as survivors who had attempted suicide.
While promoting Rainbow this summer, Kesha read a note she had written to her 18-year-old self and referenced the difficult times she experienced during her life, including suicidal thoughts. “The bad news is, you nearly killed yourself on the road to success, fueled by fear of failure, crippling anxiety, and insecurity,” she wrote. “You will become severely bulimic and anorexic — and the worse your disease gets the more praise you will get from some people in your industry, and this will really, really mess with your head. But when you are trying to live up to an unrealistic expectation, it’s never gonna be good enough no matter what you do.”
Rainbow is Kesha’s first album since 2012’s Warrior and the first since her protracted legal battle with producer Dr. Luke, whom she has accused of sexual assault and misconduct. Dr. Luke has denied Kesha’s accusations in court and on social media (and most of Kesha’s claims were thrown out in court).