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
The nation was still trying to come to grips with the tragic school shootings that have rocked the country since the start of the year when America experienced its 22nd school shooting of 2018 at Santa Fe High School in Texas, which claimed 10 lives.
In the wake of the latest tragedy, singer and songwriter Kelly Clarkson opened the Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards addressing the recent massacre in Texas–which also happens to be her home state.
However, the former "American Idol" winner, who was also the host of the annual awards ceremony, disregarded the traditional moment of silence for the victims and instead called for a “moment of action,” while trying unsuccessfully to hold back her tears.
“Tonight they wanted me to say that, obviously we’re going to pray for the victims and pray for their families, but they also wanted me to do a moment of silence,” Clarkson said. “And I’m so sick of moments of silence. It’s not working… So why don’t we not do a moment of silence? Why don’t we do a moment of action? A moment of change?
“Why don’t we change what’s happening? Because it’s horrible,” she added to huge applause from the audience.
The singer, who was too overwhelmed with emotions to just call for a period of silent prayers, asked some legitimate questions as the latest incident marked the fourth deadliest shooting at a public school in modern U.S. history.
Clarkson also talked about her home state.
“My home state has had so much heartbreak over this past year. And once again, we’re grieving for more kids that have died,” said the singer and host of “The Voice.”
She ended her heartfelt opening speech by saying how mothers and fathers should be able to send their kids to places without the fear of some gun fanatic ending their lives.
“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. We need to do better. We’re failing our communities, we’re failing their families,”said Clarkson.
"I can't imagine — I have 4 children — I cannot imagine getting that phone call or that knock on the door," she told the audience, adding, "We need to do better."
After a poignant speech, Clarkson introduced the opening song “No Tears Left To Cry,” a new single written and performed by Ariana Grande – a celebrity whose concert in Manchester ended in carnage after a terrorist killed 22 people after her performance.
A 17-year-old was charged with murder in the shooting of 10 people, including fellow pupils, at his Texas high school in an attack similar to the massacre at a Florida high school earlier this year. The teen, identified as Dimitrios Pagourtz, reportedly used a shotgun and a .38 revolver taken from his father to open fire in a classroom.
Many Hollywood stars took to Twitter to rip the NRA on the latest act of violence.
Sending our children to school should not cause anxiety and fear. As always, broken hearted and miserable for the families of this tragedy. We DO NOT HAVE TO LIVE THIS WAY. Donate to @Everytown Call your reps and DEMAND CHANGE. #DoSomethinghttps://t.co/n2C3ny4EuS— Elizabeth Banks (@ElizabethBanks) May 18, 2018
My heart goes out to all these kids and parents that have to live in terror when they send their kids off to school because we don’t have sensible gun laws in America because of the NRA and Republicans! https://t.co/RwtmhJxEda— John Leguizamo (@JohnLeguizamo) May 18, 2018
Banner Image Credits: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni