Kelly Clarkson Opens Billboard Music Awards by Pleading for Change After Texas Shooting

“I’m so sick of 'moment of silence.' It’s not working,” the host said.

Host Kelly Clarkson opened the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday by addressing the recent school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas.

“There is something I’d like to say about the tragedy Friday at Santa Fe High School,” she began. “I’m a Texas girl and my home state has had so much heartbreak over this past year and once again, y’all, we’re grieving for more kids that have died for just an absolute no reason at all.”

While fighting back tears, she continued, “Tonight they wanted me to say that obviously we want to pray for all the victims, we wanna pray for their families."

Clarkson added that the producers of the awards show wanted to her ask for a moment of silence honoring the victims. “I’m so sick of 'moment of silence.' It’s not working. 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,” she said to the cheering audience. “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, so we need to do better.

“We need to do better as people are failing our children. We’re failing our communities. We’re failing their families,” she pleaded. “I have four children. I cannot imagine getting that phone call or knock on the door. So instead of a moment of silence, I want to respect them and honor them with tonight.”

Concluded Clarkson, “Let’s have a moment of action. Let’s have a moment of change.”

Shawn Mendes and Khalid performed “Youth” with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Choir later in the evening. The performance acted as an emotional tribute to victims of gun violence.