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Here Are All the Political Moments At the 2020 Billboard Music Awards

Kelly Clarkson, John Legend and more artists celebrated the best in music at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards on Wednesday (Oct. 14), but politics did make a few appearances.

And no wonder. The live show was hosted by Clarkson — her third time — at an empty Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with cases on the rise again in the U.S. Not only that, the Nov. 3 presidential election is only 20 days away, with early and mail-in voting already in process in numerous states.

Here are the political moments that came up during the 2020 Billboard Music Awards.

Billie Eilish’s Top Female Artist Acceptance Speech

While accepting her second award of the night, 18-year-old Eilish first thanked the women who “paved the way” before her. Then she brought it to the topic of the global health crisis. “Please vote, please wear a mask, please wash your hands, be safe,” she urged viewers.

Lizzo’s Powerful Sartorial and Verbal Message

Lizzo took the stage to accept her award for top sales song artist in a one-shoulder black dress with the word “vote” printed all over it in white lettering. The dress spoke loudly, but the “Truth Hurts” singer had more to share.  

“I’ve been thinking a lot about suppression and the voices that refuse to be suppressed. And I wonder: ‘Would I be standing here right now if it weren’t for the big Black women who refused to have their voices be suppressed?’” she said. “I just want to say right now if you’re at home watching this and you’re thinking about changing yourself to be worthy, this is your sign to remain true to who you are. Let me tell you all something: When people try to suppress something, it’s normally because that thing holds power — they’re afraid of your power. There’s power in who you are. There’s power in your voice. So whether it’s through music, protest or your right to vote, use your power, use your voice and refuse to be suppressed!”

Watch her speech:

Inaugural Billboard Change Maker Award

For the first time, the BBMAs presented the change maker award, which recognizes an artist or group who speaks truth to power through their art, celebrity and community. The inaugural award was presented by Atlanta’s Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who sported a Biden-Harris 2020 shirt.

Across the country, Americans are living with the impact of COVID-19, economic hardship and the crushing pain of systemic racism,” she said in her introduction of recipient Killer Mike. “It is in these moments we look for leaders who will walk the walk and talk the talk … fight for the change we need.”

Killer Mike, one half of the duo Run the Jewels, has been an outspoken leader in social justice and civil rights movements. After the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police in May, he gave a passionate speech that quickly went viral. He’s also led voter registration initiatives, created opportunities for Black businesses, has used his platform to inspire and motivate, and much more.

He said in his acceptance speech: “The kids that are organizing, plotting, strategizing right there on the ground and mobilizing, you are needed more than ever.”

Demi Lovato’s “Commander in Chief” Performance

The singer let her latest song — released just days ago on Oct. 13 — do all the talking for her during the tune’s world premiere performance. Sitting at a grand piano, Lovato belted out the politically charged lyrics, which send a clear message to President Donald Trump: “Commander in Chief, honestly/ If I did the things you do, I couldn’t sleep/ Seriously, do you even know the truth?/ We’re in a state of crisis, people are dying/ While you line your pockets deep/ Commander in Chief/ How does it feel to still be able to breathe?”

En Vogue’s Subtle Message

En Vogue, who are celebrating their 30th anniversary, closed the show with a rockin’ rendition of their 1992 hit “Free Your Mind.” While the trio didn’t stray from the timely lyrics, their backing band did the political talking, though with a quiet gesture: The drummer and two guitarists all wore silvery sequined face coverings featuring the word “VOTE” in black.


Credit: Original article published here.

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