Kelly Clarkson has demanded not a moment of silence for victims of gun violence, but instead a “moment of action.”
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Following the Santa Fe High School shooting in Texas that left ten victims dead on Friday, the Billboard Music Awards host opened Sunday’s ceremony in Las Vegas with a moving speech focused on gun violence in the U.S.
Clarkson, who grew up in Texas, took the opportunity to call for change, saying that “we’re failing our communities.”
“I’m a Texas girl, and my home state has had so much heartbreak over this past year, and once again we’re grieving for more kids that have died for just absolutely no reason at all.”
Clarkson said the Billboard Music Awards had asked her to include a prayer for those affected by Friday’s tragedy, and to instigate a moment of silence for the victims and their families.
“I’m so sick of ‘moment of silence,’ it’s not working.” she said.
“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.”
As a mother of four, Clarkson said she “cannot imagine getting that phone call or knock on the door.”
“Mommas 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. We need to do better. People are failing our children, we’re failing our communities, we’re failing their families.”
People immediately responded on Twitter to Clarkson’s speech supportively with the hashtag #MomentOfAction.
Clarkson wasn’t the only celebrity shining a light on gun violence during the awards. Artists Shawn Mendes and Khalid performed their hit “Youth,” joined onstage by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Show Choir from Parkland, Florida. The Parkland high school students led the charge on March for Our Lives following February’s tragic school shooting which saw 17 people killed.
Mendes wrote the song following the attack on Ariana Grande’s concert in Manchester in May 2017. Here’s a peek: