In an evening filled with A-list celebrities, teary thank-you speeches and inside industry jokes, it was rapper Common who truly stood out on stage Sunday at the Golden Globes.
While accepting the award for original song for "Glory," a soulful number he co-wrote with John Legend for the civil-rights era drama "Selma," the 42-year-old-artist delivered one of the most memorable and moving speeches of the evening.
"The first day I stepped on the set of 'Selma,' I began to feel like this was bigger than a movie," said Common (a.k.a. Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr.) during his acceptance speech at the Beverly Hilton hotel ceremony.
Clad in a sharp black tuxedo and standing next to a beaming Legend, he continued: "As I got to know the people of the civil rights movement, I realized I am the hopeful black woman who was denied her right to vote. I am the caring white supporter killed on the front lines of freedom. I am the unarmed black kid who maybe needed a hand, but instead was given a bullet. I am the two fallen police officers murdered in the line of duty. 'Selma' has awakened my humanity."
Legend also said that he was honored to be part of a film that touched on the issues of civil rights, and is "so connected to what's going on now."
Their speeches were some of the very few that touched on the racial tensions bubbling up around the country since the deaths of two unarmed black men in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, N.Y., at the hands of police. None of the officers involved in those deaths were indicted by grand juries.
A few other Globe winners did address the need to defend free speech in relation to the recent terrorist attacks in France and the Sony Pictures hacking incident, comments that were mostly aimed at the filmmaking and TV industries.
This is a first Globe nomination and win for Common and Legend, chart-topping artists who beat out Lana Del Rey's "Big Eyes" from "Big Eyes," Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye's "Mercy Is" from "Noah," Lorde's "Yellow Flicker Beat" from "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1," and Sia and Greg Kurstin's "Opportunity" from "Annie."