• Michelle Obama joined other stars at The Grammys. (CBS)Source: CBS
The Grammys have previously faced criticism for a lack of female winners and performers.
Samuel Leighton-Dore

11 Feb 2019 - 1:05 PM  UPDATED 11 Feb 2019 - 1:06 PM

After facing criticism in previous years for a distinct lack of female winners and performers, the 2019 Grammys opened with a stellar lineup of presenters, sharing the stage in a show of diversity and strength - including a surprise appearance by Michelle Obama.

Others in the powerhouse group included Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Grammys host Alicia Keys - who is believed to be a close friend to Obama.

“Music has always been the one place we can all feel truly free,” Gaga said.

Pinkett Smith added: “Every voice we hear deserves to be honoured and respected.”

She continued: "From the Motown records I wore out from the southside… music has always helped me tell my story and I know that’s true for everybody here, whether we like country or rap or rock. Music helps us share ourselves, our hopes and joys… to invite each other in.

"Music shows that it all matters, with every story, with a different voice… is that right, ladies?

"Who runs the world?"

Last year, Lorde, the only woman nominated for album of the year, was not offered a slot performing, causing many viewers to demand a more diverse presentation.

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