“They wanted me to do a moment of silence. I’m so sick of moments of silence,” said Clarkson, her voice breaking, in the cold open of the awards ceremony. “It’s not working. Like, obviously. So why don’t wenotdo 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,” she added to huge applause from the audience.
She pointed out she’s a Texas girl, and mom of four children. “Once again, y’all, we’re grieving for more kids that have died for just an absolute no reason at all,” she said.
“Mamas and daddies should be able to send their kids to school, to church, to movie theaters, to clubs — you should be able to live your life without that kind of fear. We need to do better. We’re failing our communities, we’re failing their families.”
Clarkson then introduced the opening song, “No Tears Left To Cry,” a new single written and performed byAriana Grande. A year ago, Grande had just finished up a concert in Manchester, England when 23 people, including the attacker, were killed in a terror bombing.
Apologizing for her tears, Clarkson returned to perform a medley of nominated songs.
Watch what she said in the video up top.
CORRECTION: An earlier version incorrectly described the Manchester attack as a shooting. It was a bombing.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.