It’s a night of music and celebration, but as Kelly Clarkson opened the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, she used the moment to give a tearful speech paying tribute to her home state of Texas and those who lost their lives in the Santa Fe high school shooting.
“Before we start tonight’s show, there’s something I’d like to say about the tragedy Friday at Santa Fe High School,” she said fighting back tears. “I’m a Texas girl and my home state has had so much heartbreak over this past year. Once again, y’all, we’re grieving more kids that have died for just absolutely no reason at all.
“Tonight they wanted me to say that obviously, we want to pray for all the victims, you want to pray for their families. They also wanted me to do a moment of silence and I’m so sick of moments of silence. It’s not working, obviously.
“Why don’t we not do a moment of silence, why don’t we do a moment of action? Why don’t we do a moment of change? Why don’t we change what’s happening, because it’s horrible. Mamas and daddies should be able to send their kids to school, to church, to movie theaters, to clubs, you should be able to live your life without that kind of fear,” the mother of four said.
“So we need to do better. We are failing our children, we’re failing our communities. We’re failing their families. I can’t imagine, I have four children. I can’t imagine getting that phone call or knock on the door, Kelly continued choking back tears. “So instead of a moment of silence, I want to respect them and honor them with tonight y’all, in your community, where you live, your friends, everybody, let’s have a moment of action. Let’s have moment of change.”
Our hearts go out to all the victims in the Santa Fe community and their families. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/7ejLAd8nKk
— Billboard Music Awards (@BBMAs) May 21, 2018