While the 2015 American Music Awards' tribute to victims of "unimaginable violence…around the world" felt very Paris-specific, Jared Leto's introduction expanded that narrow focus to include people affected by the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Sunday's hotel shooting in Mali, police violence in the United States, and others.
"Tonight, we honor the victims of the unimaginable violence that has taken place this year and around the world," the Academy Award-winning actor and Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman said. "France matters, Russia matters, Syria matters, Mali matters, the Middle East matters, the United States matters. The entire world matters, and peace is possible."
Perhaps in response to the growing backlash against Syrian refugees coming to the U.S., he added that "many of us here are the sons and the daughters of immigrants." He continued by noting that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian immigrant and that President Obama's father was an immigrant, as well.
Following Leto's introduction, Céline Dion took the stage to perform Edith Piaf's "Hymne à l'amour" as images of iconic Parisian landmarks—the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de triomphe, Notre Dame—were projected behind her.
"We felt it was important to show our solidarity in light of the recent events in Paris and all around the world," AMA producer Larry Klein said in a statement to Billboard on Friday. "Céline's performance will help us express our feelings through song, when words do not suffice."
Taylor Swift, One Direction, Nicki Minaj, The Weeknd, and Florida Georgia Line were the big winners at Sunday's AMAs. Each of the aforementioned acts took home at least two awards.
Bad at filling out bios seeks same.