Kelly Clarkson Opens Billboard Music Awards Calling For Gun Control

The singer was asked to open the awards show with a moment of silence, instead she demanded a moment of action.

Kelly Clarkson is hosting the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, and in the show's opening she first wanted to honour the victims of last week's school shooting in Texas.

"Before we start tonight's show," the 36-year-old said fighting back tears, "there's something I'd like to say -- this is gonna be so hard".

"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 no reason at all. And tonight they wanted me to say — that obviously we want to pray for all the victims and their families."

"But they also wanted me to do a moment of silence and I’m so sick of moments of silence! It’s not working! Like, obviously. So why don’t we not do a moment of silence, why don’t we do a moment of action, a moment of change."

Visibly affected, Clarkson spoke about how she feels like Americans are being failed. The mother of four also shared the fears she had for her own children.

"These people are failing our children, we’re failing our communities we’re failing their families — I have four children, and I can’t imagine getting that phone call or that knock on the door. So instead of a moment of silence, I want to respect them and honour them. So let’s have a moment of action — a moment of change."

Kelly Clarkson demands gun control at Billboard Music Awards 2018
"We need to do better" Clarkson urged during her opening speech at the awards. Image: Getty Images.

Ten people were killed on Friday when a 17-year-old opened fire in an art class at Santa Fe High School. It was the third school shooting in the United States in the past eight days.

There have reportedly been 22 since the beginning of the year. 

Clarkson also later introduced Ariana Grande who performed her new single "No Tears Left to Cry". Grande recently opened up about organising the One Manchester benefit concert in response to the Arena Attack which occurred almost one year ago.

"I don't want to give it that much power," she told Time, "Something so negative. It’s the absolute worst of humanity. That’s why I did my best to react the way I did".

"The last thing I would ever want is for my fans to see something like that happen and think it won."