Before Logic took the stage to perform “1-800-273-8255” with Alessia Cara and Khalid at MTV’s Video Music Awards Sunday night (Aug. 27), Kesha delivered a powerful speech on the song’s impact and reassured audience members that “none of us are alone.” It appears the message worked, as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — the number for which is the title of Logic’s song — experienced a 50 percent increase in calls after the performance, according to the Lifeline’s Director of Communications Frances Gonzalez.
“Logic’s performance of ‘1-800-273-8255’ on the MTV VMAs last night delivered a positive message that has had and will continue to have a lasting impact,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “Sharing that healing and hope are possible helps individuals in crisis, [and] as changes the conversation around suicide from one of isolation to one of hope and connection.”
Making the song’s performance even more poignant, Logic, Cara and Khalid were joined on stage by suicide loss and attempt survivors wearing shirts with the phone number on the front and the phrase “You Are Not Alone” written on th back.
“It has been said that if you knew who walked beside you, you could never experience fear or doubt again,” Kesha began her introduction. “Every so often, a rare and important song and video come along that lets us know how true that is… Whatever you are going through, however dark it may seem, there is an undeniable truth and strength in the fact that you are not alone.”
The singer noted that she herself was brought to tears by the song and its accompanying video and finished her speech by repeating the number for the Lifeline.
“We all have struggles, and as long as you never give up on yourself light will break through the darkness,” she said.
Logic gave an equally-rousing speech during the performance, thanking the audience for giving him a platform to talk about the issues “that mainstream media doesn’t want to talk about: mental health, anxiety, suicide, depression and so much more that I talk about on this album.”
The rapper also emphasized the importance of equality and unity, saying “I don’t give a damn if you’re black, white, or any color in between. I don’t care if you’re Christian, you’re Muslim, you’re gay, you’re straight — I am here to fight for your equality, because I believe that we are all born equal, but we are not treated equally and that is why we must fight.”