Sunday evening’s 2017 American Music Awards kicked off on a somber note, with actor Jamie Foxx and his daughter Corinne paying tribute to their country’s brave first responders.
“This year, more than perhaps any other in recent history, we needed the power of music to help us escape the news of the day. We needed that power to help us heal from hurricanes, wild fires, hate, and hatred-fueled violence,” Foxx declared. “2017 was a year that tested our faith.”
“In these moments of crisis, heroes emerged,” he added.
During his short introduction, the camera panned on a group of first responders standing behind the actor. “With us tonight are some of the first responders who ran toward the danger,” Foxx continued.
Moments before introducing P!nk and Kelly Clarkson’s moving performance of R.E.M’s “Everybody Hurts”, the actor shared his message of unity: “Together, our strength will pull us through. Together, we shall overcome the pain. Together we can unite as a people and as a nation.”
Clarkson and P!nk’s joint performance marked the first time the stars have ever taken the stage together. Their emotional delivery of the song garnered a standing ovation from the crowd.