Billboard Music Awards: Imagine Dragons Raises Awareness About Gay Conversion Therapy

Imagine Dragons_BBMAs - Getty - H 2019
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"I just want to take this moment to say there are still 34 states that have no laws banning conversion therapy," said frontman Dan Reynolds, adding "on top of that 58 percent of our LGBTQ population live in those states."

Upon accepting the award for best rock group at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards, Imagine Dragons seized an opportunity to discuss gay conversion therapy and the pressures that LGBTQ youth are under in the United States. 

"I just want to take this moment to say there are still 34 states that have no laws banning conversion therapy," said frontman Dan Reynolds, adding, "on top of that 58 percent of our LGBTQ population live in those states."

"This can change, but it’s going to take us talking to our legislation and pushing forward laws to protect our LGBTQ youth," he added. "Lastly, we have seen with conversion therapy that our LGBTQ youth have doubled the rate of depression and tripled the rate of suicide."

Reynolds is passionate about LGBTQ causes; he previously explored how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members in an award-winning documentary titled Believer.

The 2019 Billboard Music Awards took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and aired on NBC. For the second year in a row, the evening was hosted by Kelly Clarkson, a five-time BBMA nominee, who also performed a medley during the show.

Additional performers included Taylor Swift, BTS with Halsey, Ariana Grande, the Jonas Brothers and Panic! at the Disco. 

The Billboard Music Awards is produced by Dick Clark Productions — a division of Valence Media, the parent company of the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group.