Grammys 2019: Michelle Obama delights audience with girl power message

Michelle Obama joined Jada Pinkett Smith, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga and host Alicia Keys on stage during the Grammy award ceremony. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Los Angeles, CA, USA Feb 11, 2019, 07.55 AM (IST)

Michelle Obama made a surprise appearance on the Grammys stage Sunday to deliver a message of women's empowerment alongside superstars Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, host Alicia Keys and actress Jada Pinkett-Smith.

"Music shows us that all of it matters -- every story within every voice, every note within every song," said the former first lady, looking glam in a sparkling gunmetal pantsuit with a 1970s-esque wrap jacket.

"Is that right, ladies?" she said to resounding applause.

The Recording Academy behind the awards gala has faced a barrage of criticism for not embracing diversity within its ranks, after nearly muting women nominees at the show last year.

This year, five of the eight nominees for Album of the Year are women: rapper Cardi B, folk-rock singer Brandi Carlile, pop futurist Janelle Monae, R&B prodigy H.E.R. and country star Kacey Musgraves.