Kelly Clarkson Urges 'Moment of Action' at BBMAs After Texas School Shooting

Billboard Music Awards host goes off script to open the show with a heartfelt plea

Host Kelly Clarkson opened the Billboard Music Awards with unscripted remarks about last week's deadly high school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas. Credit: Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock

Instead of a planned "moment of silence" during the opening of Sunday night's Billboard Music Awards, Texas-born Kelly Clarkson, who hosted the show, paid an emotional tribute to the victims of Friday's high-school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, with a plea for "a moment of action."

Barely able to hold back tears as she immediately went off-script, Clarkson, standing against a dark background, said, "This is gonna be so hard... I'm a Texas girl and my home state had so much heartbreak over this past year, and once again, y'all, we're grieving for kids who have died for just no reason at all."

Although the show's producers had initially planned something a little different than what transpired, Clarkson explained, "They wanted me to say that, obviously, we want to pray for all the victims, we want to pray for all their families. But they also wanted me to do a moment of silence, and I'm so sick of moment of silence. It's not working, obviously."

While at the same time apologizing for her emotional demeanor, Clarkson noted, "Why don't we do a moment of change? Why don't we change what's happening? Because it's horrible."

Later in the show, singers Shawn Mendes and Khalid performed a song called "Youth" with the show choir from Parkland, Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of a February 14th shooting in which 14 students and three staff members were killed.