Billboard Music Awards 2019: Imagine Dragons' Bold Political Statement
After winning Top Rock Artist the band used their time to make a strong statement.
One of the earlier awards of the night, Top Rock Artist, was given to Imagine Dragons.
The group, made up of Dan Reynolds, Wayne Sermon, Ben McKee and Daniel Platzman, approached the stage to accept the award, but instead of doing the usual thanks to their fans the band used the time to make a strong statement.
Taking the mic, Reynolds began the speech by thanking the audience before saying, "I just want to take this moment to say there are still 34 states that have no laws banning Conversion Therapy."
"On top of that," he continued, "58 percent of our LGBTQ population live in those states."
Reynolds was referring to the controversial practice of trying to change or "convert" a person's sexuality from non-heterosexual to heterosexual using spiritual and psychological tactics. The practice has been slammed by experts and has been likened to torture.
"This can change," Renolds said in the surprising speech, "But it's going to take all of us talking to our state legislation pushing forward lives to protect our LGBTQ youth."
"Lastly I just want to say, we have seen with conversion therapy our LGBTQ youth have doubled the rate of depression, triple the rate of suicide after conversion therapy. It's not working, it needs to change."
The surprising speech won over a lot of folks, who weren't expecting the band to make such a stand so early on in the evening.
The speech isn't the first time Imagine Dragons have used their platform to help the LGBTQ community -- in 2018, Reynolds released a documentary 'Believer' which looked at the intersection of LGBTQ people and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Upon the film's release, Reynolds released the single "Skipping Stones", with all proceeds going to LGBTQ charities.
Featured image: Getty Images.