21/05/2018 08:03 BST

Billboard Music Awards: Kelly Clarkson Calls For 'Moment Of Action' Not 'Moment Of Silence' After Santa Fe Shootings

She opened the Billboard Music Awards with a powerful speech.

Kelly Clarkson opened the Billboard Music Awards with a moving speech about the Santa Fe High School shooting, demanding a “moment of action” in lieu of a “moment of silence”.

The singer was the host of this year’s Billboard awards, taking a moment at the top of the show to address the tragedy that saw eight students and two teachers killed on Friday (18 February).

Speaking out on the subject of gun control, Kelly began: “Before we start tonight’s show, I’d like to… this is going to be so hard… there’s something I’d like to say about the tragedy on Friday at Santa Fe High School.”

Jeff Kravitz via Getty Images
Kelly Clarkson

Apologising as her voice cracked, an emotional Kelly continued: “I’m a Texas girl, and my home state has had so much heartache over the past year… and yet again, y’all, we’re grieving for more kids that have died for absolutely no reason at all.

“And tonight they wanted me to say that obviously we wanna pray for all the victims, and pray for all 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… sorry… 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. And mommas and daddies should be able to send their kids to school, to church, to movie theatres, to clubs… you should be able to live your life without that kind of fear.

“So, we need to do better. People, we’re failing our children, we’re failing our communities, we’re failing their families.”

Kelly continued: “I can’t imagine, I have four children, 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, with tonight y’all. In your community, where you live, your friends, everybody, let’s have a moment of action, let’s have a moment of change.”

The ceremony opened with a performance from Ariana Grande of her new single, ‘No More Tears Left To Cry’, her first new single released since the terror attack at her concert in 2017, the anniversary of which falls this week.

The big winners at the Billboard Awards were Kendrick Lamar and Ed Sheeran, with six awards each.