Amid the pomp and circumstance of the annual American Music Awards on Sunday, celebrities paid tribute to victims of terrorist attacks across the ocean in Paris.
During the awards show, actor Jared Leto, who was introducing a Celine Dion performance, made an impassioned plea for tolerance and respect for immigrant communities.
“Tonight, we honor the victims of the unimaginable violence that has taken place in Paris and around the world. France matters, Russia matters, Syria matters, Mali matters, the Middle East matters, the United States matters, the entire world matters and peace is possible,” Leto said.
“Many of us here are the sons and daughters of immigrants,” he added.
Leto, who is also the frontman for the band 30 Seconds to Mars, performed at the site of the attack, the Bataclan theater, earlier this year. “It was beautiful, peaceful and unforgettable. What a difference a day makes,” he said.
The Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, which the terrorist group ISIS has taken responsibility for, claimed the lives of 100 people and have sparked a rise in anxiety worldwide, as well as, unfortunately, anti-Muslim sentiment. GOP presidential candidates have come out against the U.S. accepting Syrian refugees, with one. Dr. Ben Carson, going so far as to compare them to rapid dogs. And Donald Trump spent much of the weekend reeling from reaction to his willingness to support a database that would track Muslim Americans.
Dion’s widely praised performance of Edith Piaf’s classic “Hymne à L’Amour” cut through the clutter and reportedly left some members of the audience in tears.