Before P!nk and Kelly Clarkson opened the 2017 American Music Awards on Sunday night (Nov. 19) with a moving performance of R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts,” Jamie Foxx delivered a moving message of his own.
“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,” said Foxx, who was accompanied by his daughter, Corinne Foxx. “We needed the power of music to help us heal, from hurricanes, wildfires, hate, hatred filled violence. 2017 was a year that tested our faith — in these moments of crisis, heroes emerged.”
To make the moment even more special, Foxx and his daughter were joined by a group of first responders from the year’s many tragedies, who Foxx praised for running towards the danger “when it would’ve been so easy to run away.” After a rousing round of applause for the brave men and women on stage, Foxx delivered one final message of hope for a brighter new year.
“As this year comes to a close, we look forward to 2018 with hope,” he continued. “For even as we mourn those who are lost, we know this — together our strength will pull us through, together we shall overcome the pain, together we can unite as a people and a nation.”
Watch Foxx’s moving speech below.