LOS ANGELES (AP) — It’s the American Music Awards, but guests had Paris on their minds.
Celine Dion performed the French classic made famous by Edith Piaf, “L’Hymne a L’Amour,” in front of a string section and a montage of images of famous Paris sites. She raised her hand triumphantly in the air at the song’s conclusion, a photo of the Eiffel Tower behind her.
In introducing the songstress, Jared Leto said the attacks in Paris and Mali this month have “changed the world forever” and scarred its population.
“Tonight we honor the victims of the unimaginable violence that has taken place in Paris and around the world,” Leto said. “The entire world matters, and peace is possible.”
Charlie Puth, who locked lips with Meghan Trainor for an extended kiss onstage, said he happened to be near the site of the Paris attacks a few weeks before they happened and felt his heart break at the news.
“I want to write a song for Paris,” said the 23-year-old entertainer, whose song “See You Again” was nominated twice at the AMAs. “I don’t want to write another ‘See You Again’ for Paris, but I want to write a song specifically for Paris.”
Ashton Irwin of 5 Seconds of Summer, which performed during the show, said the band wants to help its fans make sense of the most recent attacks.
“This is the first time any of them have experienced a tragedy like this, so it’s important for a band like us to articulate ourselves properly so they understand what’s happening,” he said. “What we sing about is important, and it will change what we write about in the future. We have a young fan base, and were almost the communicators of what’s going on in the world.”
Skrillex, who won collaboration of the year for “Where Are U Now” with Diplo and Justin Bieber, didn’t mention Paris specifically, but said, “There’s so much negative stuff in the world right now that it’s up to us to be positive right now.”
AP Entertainment Writer Nicole Evatt contributed to this report.
This version has been changed to reflect that Ashton Irwin spoke for 5 Seconds of Summer, not Luke Hemmings as originally reported.
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