Volodymyr Zelensky's Grammys Speech: Full Transcript

"Fill the silence with music," Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky pleaded in his address to musicians and the public at the 64th edition of the Grammys in Las Vegas last night.

Zelensky made a surprise appearance with a pre-recorded video before John Legend performed the song "Free," accompanied by Ukrainian singer Mika Newton, musician Siuzanna Iglidan and poet Lyuba Yakimchuk.

Zelensky asked artists to use their voices to fill the silence left in Ukraine by the violence of the Russian invasion.

Zelensky Grammy speech
Ukraine PresidVolodymyr Zelenskyy onstage during the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

"The war. What is more opposite to music? The silence of ruined cities and killed people," Zelensky said.

"Our children draw swooping rockets, not shooting stars. Over 400 children have been injured and 153 children died. And we'll never see them drawing. Our parents are happy to wake up in the morning in bomb shelters - but alive."

"Our loved ones don't know if we will be together again. The war doesn't let us choose who survives and who stays in eternal silence," he added.

"Our musicians wear body armors instead of tuxedos. They sing to the wounded in hospitals. Even to those who can't hear them. But the music will break through anyway. We defend our freedom. To live. To love. To sound."

John Legend Grammy Ukraine
Mika Newton and John Legend perform onstage during the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

"On our land, we are fighting Russia which brings horrible silence with its bombs. The dead silence," Zelensky said.

"Fill the silence with your music. Fill it today to tell our story. Tell the truth about this 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 the war is destroying. Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Volnovakha, Mariupol and others. They are legends already. But I have a dream of them living, and free - free like you on the Grammy stage," Zelensky concluded.

Legend then sang his brand new song "Free" with Ukrainian flags waving in the background.

Jon Baptiste won big at Sunday's Grammys, bringing home five awards including album of the year for "We Are" and best music video for "Freedom." Record of the year was won by Silk Sonic, a group project led by Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak. Olivia Rodrigo won Best New Artist and brought home three awards.

Compared to the recent night of the Oscars, the Grammys offered a rather subdued event.

Host Trevor Noah made a few references to the incident between Will Smith and Chris Rock at the Oscars ceremony, as expected, highlighting how the Grammys would have been a slap-free event.

Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga, Lil Nas X and BTS also performed on stage during the night.

The night opened with another somber moment, showing a video montage tribute to late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. Hawkins, 50, was found dead in his hotel room in Bogota, Colombia, during a tour. Colombian police believe the death might be drug-related.

Zelensky's Grammys Speech in Full

"The war. What is more opposite to music? The silence of ruined cities and killed people.

Our children draw swooping rockets, not shooting stars. Over 400 children have been injured and 153 children died. And we'll never see them drawing. Our parents are happy to wake up in the morning in bomb shelters—but alive.

Our loved ones don't know if we will be together again. The war doesn't let us choose who survives and who stays in eternal silence.

Our musicians wear body armors instead of tuxedos. They sing to the wounded in hospitals. Even to those who can't hear them. But the music will break through anyway. We defend our freedom. To live. To love. To sound.

On our land, we are fighting Russia which brings horrible silence with its bombs. The dead silence.

Fill the silence with your music. Fill it today to tell our story. Tell the truth about this 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 the war is destroying. Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Volnovakha, Mariupol and others. They are legends already. But I have a dream of them living, and free—free like you on the Grammy stage."