Kelly Clarkson opened the Billboard Music Awards Sunday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas with a powerful message about gun violence.
The Texas native, who was tapped to host the annual awards fest, told the audience she was asked by show producers to lead a moment of silence for the victims of Friday’s school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas.
But Clarkson said that wasn’t enough for the ten people who lost their lives.
“I’m so sick of [a] moment of silence,” she said through tears. “It’s not working, obviously. So, why don’t we, 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.”
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 Voice coach went on to say as a nation, we are failing our children.
“Mommas and daddies should be able to send their kids to school, to church, to movie theaters, to clubs,” she added. “You should be able to live your life without that kind of fear. We need to do better.”
The mother-of-four then said she’s worried about her own family.
“I can’t imagine getting that phone call or knock on the door,” she said. “So instead of [a] moment of silence, I want to respect them and honor them. But tonight ya’ll, let’s respect them in your community, where you live, your friends, everybody. Let’s have a moment of action. Let’s have a moment of change.”
A gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High School, outside Houston, on Friday morning killing eight students and two substitute teachers, according to The Associated Press.
The victims have been identified as Kimberly Vaughan, Shana Fisher, Angelique Ramirez, Christian Riley Garcia, Jared Black, Pakistani exchange student Sabika Sheikh, Christopher Jake Stone and Aaron Kyle McLeod. The two teachers were Glenda Perkins and Cynthia Tisdale.
Thirteen other people suffered injuries in the shooting.
Police say a 17-year-old student, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, was arrested and is being held on murder charges.