Kelly Clarkson Delivers Emotional Speech at Billboard Music Awards

The singer fights emotion as she talks about the victims of the latest high school shooting in her native Texas.

Kelly Clarkson opened the 2018 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, May 20, by calling for a moment of action following the latest high school shooting in her native Texas.

The singer, who was hosting the show, fought back tears as she explained she had been asked by show bosses to lead a moment of silence – but she refused.

“There’s something I’d like to say about the tragedy Friday at Santa Fe High School,” she said before apologising as she tried to calm her emotions. “I’m a Texas girl and my home state has had so much heartbreak over this past year and once again y’all we are grieving for more kids that have died for just no reason at all.”

“Tonight, they wanted me… to do a moment of silence, and I’m so sick of moments of silence… It’s not working, like, obviously, so 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…”

“Mommas and daddies should be able to send their kids to school, to church, to movie theatres, to clubs… You should be able to live your life without that kind of fear without, so we need to do better.”

As the Las Vegas crowd cheered her on, Kelly added, “We are failing our children, we are failing our communities… I have four children (and) I can’t imagine getting that phone call or that knock on the door.”

As tears streamed down her face, the Since U Been Gone star said, “Instead of a moment of silence, I wanna respect them (victims) and honour them… Tonight y’all, let’s have a moment of action, let’s have a moment of change.”

Ironically, her powerful statement was followed by the ceremony’s first performance from Arian Grande, who will mark the first anniversary of the bomb attack outside her Manchester Arena, England concert, which cost 23 fans their lives.

Clarkson quickly fired up the crowd by performing a medley of nominated artists’ songs backed by Vegas dancers, drummers and gymnasts.

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