At Grammys, Montana Tucker highlights Hamas hostages with large yellow ribbon

Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. commemorates the 360 people massacred at the Supernova music festival on October 7: ‘Music must be our safe space’

US singer Montana Tucker arrives for the 66th Annual Grammy Awards at the Arena in Los Angeles on February 4, 2024. (Robyn Beck/AFP)
US singer Montana Tucker arrives for the 66th Annual Grammy Awards at the Arena in Los Angeles on February 4, 2024. (Robyn Beck/AFP)

JTA — Singer and social media influencer Montana Tucker, who traveled to Israel to bear witness after the deadly Hamas terror onslaught on October 7, walked the red carpet at the Grammys on Sunday night in a dress meant to call attention to the Israelis who remain hostages in Gaza.

Tucker’s dress featured a large yellow ribbon at its center, in a nod to the 253 hostages taken captive by Hamas on October 7, of whom 132 remain in Gaza, not all of them alive.

Tucker, who is Jewish, visited Israel in December —  one of several influencers to do so — and organized a flash mob there with a survivor of the Supernova music festival massacre where some 360 people were slaughtered.

In addition to the yellow ribbon tribute, Montana wore a silver Star of David necklace.

Also calling attention to the music festival massacre, the CEO of the Recording Academy, Harvey Mason Jr., paid tribute during the awards ceremony to its victims, heeding a call made last week by the CEO of the American Jewish Committee.

“Music must be our safe space. When that’s violated, it strikes at the very core of who we are,” Mason said from the stage at the awards ceremony, held at the Arena in Los Angeles.

He listed a series of fatal attacks at concerts or music festivals. “We felt that at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris. We felt that at the Manchester Arena in England. We felt that at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas. And, on October 7, we felt that again, when we heard the tragic news from the Supernova Music Festival for Love, that over 360 music fans lost their lives and another 40 were kidnapped.”

CEO of The Recording Academy US producer and songwriter Harvey Mason Jr. speaks on stage during the 66th Annual Grammy Awards pre-telecast show at the Arena in Los Angeles on February 4, 2024. (Valerie Macon/AFP)

Some survivors of the event, a trance festival held at a kibbutz just three miles from the Gaza border that underwent hours of assault by Hamas terrorists, have since likened their experience to the Holocaust.

“That day and all the tragic days that have followed have been awful for the world to bear as we mourn the loss of all innocent lives,” Mason concluded.

He did not name Israel, Gaza or Hamas in his comments, but the theme of the four-month war between Israel and Hamas came up several times during the music awards ceremony, and some attendees were reportedly delayed by pro-Palestinian protesters demonstrating outside the event.

Singer Annie Lennox called for a ceasefire during a tribute to Sinead O’Connor, the Irish singer who died last year.

“Artists for ceasefire! Peace in the world!” Lennox shouted during her performance. The Scottish performer of “Sweet Dreams” was one of hundreds of artists to petition US President Joe Biden in December in favor of an immediate ceasefire in the war in which Israel has vowed to eliminate Hamas and end the terror group’s 16-year rule over the Gaza Strip.

Annie Lennox pays tribute to Sinead O’Connor during the 66th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, February 4, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

The ceremony comes a month after a handful of attendees wore yellow ribbons to the Golden Globes award ceremony following an advocacy effort by families of hostages.

The hostage family movement did not publicly make a push for displays of support at the Grammys, but AJC CEO Ted Deutch had done so, urging the Recording Academy to call attention to the Nova victims. He thanked the academy for Mason’s tribute in a statement.

“While our hearts continue to ache for those who were lost, we take comfort in tonight’s stirring tribute,” Deutch said. “Music can be a great source of healing.”

Deutch’s request was not the only one made of the Recording Academy on behalf of Jews this year. A number of Jewish artists are also urging the group to introduce an award for best Jewish music, akin to an existing one for Christian music.

Taylor Swift and the pop trio Boygenius were the big winners during the awards ceremony, but Jewish producer Jack Antonoff — who once wore a Star of David necklace to a different awards ceremony — took home the prize for producer of the year, non-classical. Noah Kahan, a Jewish singer-songwriter who rose to fame on TikTok, was nominated but did not win Best New Artist.

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