During music’s biggest night, John Legend and the Recording Academy took time to honor victims of the current war in Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke to crowd in a pre-recorded message from Ukraine, where he told the crowd the importance of music and ongoing support for Ukraine. 

“The war doesn’t let us choose who survives and who stays in eternal silence,” Zelenskyy said in the pre-taped message “Our musicians wear body armor 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.”

During the message, 12-time Grammy award winner John Legend performed “Free,” accompanied by Siuzanna Iglidan, Mika Newton and Lyuba Yakimchuck, three Ukrainian artists.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appears on screen during the 64th Annual Grammy Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 3, 2022.

VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Next to Legend, Iglidan played the bandura, a Ukrainian folk instrument considered the national musical instrument, CBS Denver reports.

“We defend our freedom,” Zelenskyy added. “To live. To love. To sound. On our land, we are fighting Russia which brings horrible silence with its bombs. Fill the silence with your music. Fill it today. Tell our story. Tell the truth about the war on your social networks and TV. But not silence.”

Zelenskyy appeared on “Face the Nation” earlier Sunday, telling host Margaret Brennan that Russia’s invasion, now in its sixth week, is about “the destruction and extermination” of the more than 100 nationalities in his country.

“Indeed, this is genocide — the elimination of the whole nation and the people,” Zelenskyy said.