Kelly Clarkson Goes Off-Script, Calls for ‘Moment of Action’ to Open 2018 Billboard Music Awards
Kelly Clarkson, 2018 Billboard Music Awards show host, was asked to lead a moment of silence in honor of the victims of Friday's (May 18) school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, to open the show -- but she went off script. Instead, Clarkson, a Lone Star State native herself, used the platform to call for action and change in light of the tragedy.
Fighting back tears, Clarkson appeared alone onstage to make her statement. She noted that producers had asked her to send love, thoughts and prayers to the shooting's victims and their families, and to lead a moment of silence ... but, the singer said, "I am so sick of moment of silence. It's not working, like, obviously."
"Once again, y'all, we're grieving for more kids that have died for, just, an absolute no reason at all," Clarkson said. "So why don't we not do a moment of silence. Why don't we do moment of action? Why don't we do moment of change? Why don't we change what's happening, because it's horrible."
Ten people -- eight students and two teachers -- were killed at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe on Friday morning when a 17-year-old student, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, opened fire. The New York Times reports that one of the victims, 16-year-old Shana Fisher, had recently rejected Pagourtzis' romantic advances; Fisher was the first person shot.
"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," Clarkson said from stage. "So, we need to do better ... We're failing our children. We're failing our communities. We're failing their families."
The 2018 Billboard Music Awards are airing live from Las Vegas, Nev. Before the ceremony began, Chris Stapleton had already cleaned up in a number of the country categories: The singer-songwriter was, earlier in the evening, announced as the winner of Top Country Artist, Top Country Male Artist and Top Country Album. A complete 2018 Billboard Music Awards country winners list is available here.
Country Stars Walk the 2018 Billboard Music Awards Red Carpet