Iranian singer-songwriter Shervin Hajipour was chosen for the Best song for Social Change Special Merit Award at this year's Grammys. The award, introduced for the first time, was announced by First Lady of the United States Jill Biden at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards held at Crypto.com Arena at Los Angeles on Monday morning (IST).
Announcing the award, the US First Lady, stated, “A song can unite, inspire and ultimately change the world. I am honoured to announce the first winner of the Recording Academy's best song for social change to Shervin Hajipour,” she stated.
So, who is Hajipour and why was he awarded this special Grammy at this year's function? Here's what to know.
In 2022, a song 'Baraye', written by Hajipour, became the anthem of one of Iran's biggest protest movement. Iranians had taken to the streets to protest the custodial death of a young Iranian-Kurdish woman named Mahsa Amini who was arrested for not wearing her headscarf properly. Mahsa was in Iran to visit her family.
Sung by Hajipour, 'Baraye' (translated to 'because of') released through his Instagram page, captures the public's anger against Iran's morality police and calls for women's freedom. The lyrics of the song was compiled from various tweets posted by angry Iranian citizens, who were protesting the oppressive system. The song was accompanied by a video of the situation in Iran. Soon enough, 'Baraye', went viral, following which the singer was arrested on September 29. He continues to face charges of 'propaganda' and 'inciting people to violent acts', as per reports, and is prevented from leaving the country.