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Grammys feature Gaza cease-fire calls, keffiyeh & support for Israeli hostages

The devastation continues in Gaza despite international efforts to reach a cease-fire as the death toll surpasses 27,000.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 04: Annie Lennox performs onstage during the 66th GRAMMY Awards at Arena on February 04, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Annie Lennox and boygenius were among the artists to call for a cease-fire at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night, while others drew attention to the plight of Israeli hostages as the Gaza war rages on. 

Lennox, a British singer, spoke at the annual awards ceremony in Los Angeles to pay tribute to the late Irish singer Sinead O'Connor. During the tribute, Lennox raised her fist and stated "Artists for cease-fire. Peace in the world."

Lennox, who is also a political activist and campaigned against the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, is among the hundreds of artists to sign the Artists4Ceasefire petition that calls for a cease-fire in the war between Israel and Hamas, as well as for the release of hostages from Gaza. 

Members of the trio boygenius wore pins from Artists4Ceasefire at the awards. Singer Esperanza Spalding wore a keffiyah on the red carpet. The traditional Palestinian scarf is often worn by supporters of the Palestinian cause in the West.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 04: (FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Esperanza Spalding attends the 66th GRAMMY Awards at Arena on February 04, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Esperanza Spalding attends the 66th GRAMMY Awards at Arena on Feb. 4, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Other artists called for the hostages to be released from Gaza. Singer Montana Tucker wore a dress with “bring them home” written on it, in a reference to Israelis being held by Hamas in Gaza. Songwriter Joanie Leeds held a placard reading the same slogan.

CEO of the Recording Academy Harvey Mason Jr. paid tribute to the victims of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack at the Nova festival in southern Israel, calling it “tragic news.” The Recording Academy is the organizer of the Grammys.

The war in Gaza continues despite recent efforts by the international community and the United States via Qatar and Egypt to reach a cease-fire. The Palestinian Authority's WAFA news agency reported that Israeli airstrikes and shelling killed dozens of civilians in central and southern Gaza on Monday. The Israel Defense Forces said in a post on X on Monday that they carried out operations against Hamas targets in central Gaza and Khan Younis in the south. 

At least 27,365 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since Oct. 7, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry. Additionally, there are an estimated 1.7 million displaced people in Gaza out of a pre-war population of 2.3 million. Only 36% of Gaza's hospitals are operational as of late January, and there is widespread destruction throughout the territory, according to a Sunday update from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. 

Around 1,160 people were killed in Israel by Hamas during its Oct. 7 attack, according to a tally from Agence France-Presse. Israel also believes 132 hostages remain in Gaza.