Said Jennifer Lopez, "Music ... reminds me where I came from ..." "Come on, we got a show to do", she said with a grin.
"As you go on that red carpet, as you take the stage, as you are with your teams and you're dealing with that anxiety and that pressure and you're feeling like you're falling into competition with your fellow women and sisters, know that that's not what this is about".
"There's great respect that is deserved to women and you will see that live embodied on Sunday".
The Grammy Awards will be broadcast live on CBS television starting at 8 pm ET.
Monae also highlighted the huge year for women at the Grammys: Five of the eight album of the year nominees are women, and six of the eight best new artist contenders are female acts.
What will the final speech from Neil Portnow - who caused more than a little consternation previous year when he said women needed to "step up" in order to secure broader inclusion - contain?
When asked about the lack of women in the top categories at the 2018 Grammys, Recording Academy CEO Neil Portnow said women need to "step up".
UN-led inquiry: Khashoggi 'victim of brutal killing, perpetrated by Saudi officials
The two Saudis apparently expressed concern that Khashoggi's writings were tarnishing the government's image. They say that the evidence is incomplete and investigations would continue.
Brandi Carlile, the folk singer nominated for six Grammys including album, song and record of the year, looked to Monae and said: "Girl, I would vote you into presidency".
The lead up to this year's Grammys hasn't been completely smooth though.
Ariana Grande - who had a public falling out with the night's executive producer, Ken Ehrlich, earlier this week over her choice of song, a year after Lorde was denied the opportunity to perform during the telecast - won best pop vocal album for Sweetener.
Carlile told the AP she stands behind Grande's "decision to stand up for herself and her art". "I relax more ... when I know that I am supported by other women ... and I feel like I can do anything". Other big stars also won't be in attendance, including Kendrick Lamar, the top nominee with eight, and Drake, nominated for seven awards. Taylor Swift, who was snubbed and scored one nomination, also won't be at the show.
Artists scheduled to perform include Diana Ross, Cardi B, Camila Cabello, Brandi Carlile, Miley Cyrus, Dan + Shay, H.E.R., Shawn Mendes, Janelle Monáe, Kacey Musgraves, Post Malone and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. There will be awkward moments, but a planned tribute to Aretha Franklin, which will be performed by Yolanda Adams, Fantasia and Andra Day, had better be one to remember.
"I've been able to find zen moments leading up to all this". And I think it's flawless timing. "And I am not hung up on what happens or doesn't happen", she said.