LOS ANGELES — Much of the audience attending the Grammy Awards on Sunday donned light-up devil horns for the opening performance of the annual event—a presentation of the AC/DC hit “Highway to Hell.”
“Party time/My friends are gonna be there too/I’m on the highway to Hell,” the Australian rock band blared out as flames blazed on the jumbotron behind them, along with pyrotechnic effects. “Hey Satan/Payin’ my dues … I’m on the highway to Hell/Don’t stop me.”
The group had been introduced by rapper LL Cool J, as the audience stood to their feet.
“To kick off the 52 second annual Grammy Awards, headed down the highway to Hell, for the first time at the Grammys,’ AC/DC!” he declared, being met with enthusiastic cheers.
As the camera swung around to the audience during the performance, attendees raised their hands, clapped and sang along, all the while wearing red horns that signified Satan.
Katy Perry, former contemporary Christian artist now known for her secular hit “I Kissed a Girl,” held her hands up in the air to make the devil horn symbol as the band cranked out the tune.
LL Cool J likewise praised the performance as being “devilishly good” at the conclusion of the song.
The audience was then advised to put their horns away with a message appearing on the teleprompter that read, “Ladies & Gentlemen: The devil horns are yours to keep, but please put them away for the rest of the show. Thank you.”
However, questions were also raised in reports about Madonna’s later performance of “Living for Love”, which featured a group of horned men who to some resembled demons or Baphomet. Madonna herself was dressed in a risque red outfit, some of which was stripped away during the song.
“It looks like Hollywood’s fascination with demons and darkness is not going to end anytime soon …’And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil,'” wrote Geoffrey Grider of NowtheEndBegins, quoting from John 3:19.
In the film “Hells Bells: The Power and Spirit of Popular Music,” producer Eric Holmberg outlined a number of popular bands who reference Hell and the Devil in their music, including AC/DC, which wore a pentagram on one of their album covers.
The documentary noted that in 1985, guitarist Angus Young stated in an interview with Parader Magazine, “Someone else is steering me. I’m just along for the ride. I become possessed when I’m on stage.”
“Call yourself a humanist, a white witch, a liberal Christian if you must, but ultimately, as [Satanist Anton] LaVey was very fond of saying, you’re just a Satanist in evening clothes dressed up in order to hide your true nature,” Holmberg said in the film, outlining that rebellion against God is Satanism. “Contrary to popular opinion, the essence of being Satanic is simply being interested in what you or other people believe about something rather than what God knows and has commanded.”