First Lady Jill Biden presents the Iranian artist with the award for the best song for social change

Photo by JC Olivera/WireImage

first lady Jill Biden presented the Grammy 2023‘s first best song for social change, in light of artists and musicians who have written music dedicated to real social issues. And this year’s recipient is an Iranian artist who went viral on social media and whose music was dedicated to the recent protests in 2022.

Shervin Hajipour was recognized at this year’s Grammy Awards for the song “Baraye”. The song became an unofficial anthem for the 2022 Mahsa Amini protests. The Iran Wire reported that days after the song’s release, the young musician was arrested and went viral. He was asked by the Iranian cyber police to remove the video.

In 2022, Iranian women and supporters took to the streets to protest the death of Mahsa Amini. It was alleged that Iran’s Morality Police arrested Amini for “wearing her headscarf incorrectly” but was beaten to death by said police. Meanwhile, her father accused the police of killing his daughter. This sparked a nationwide protest led mostly by women who want the end of the current Iranian regime. In December 2022, the Iranian government announced plans to disband the morality police in the face of the protest.

Biden honored the young Iranian musician, who unfortunately was unable to attend the Grammys. She praised him for his music and how it influenced Iranian protest. She ended her speech with a simple but direct sentence: “Women like freedom.”

“Best Song for Social Change” is a special merit Grammy award dedicated to songs that “contain lyrical content that addresses a social topic of interest and promotes understanding, peacemaking and empathy.” Another new award presented during this year’s event was the ‘Dr. Dre Global Impact Award’, dedicated to artists who have made contributions to rap, hip-hop and black music. First Lady Jill Biden presents the Iranian artist with the award for the best song for social change

Lindsay Lowe

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