Billy Eichner loves to dish out a good joke, but during the 2018 American Music Awards on Oct. 9, the comedian/actor switched his tone for a more serious and pressing topic. Ahead of introducing the award for Adult Contemporary Artist with actress Kathryn Hahn (Shawn Mendes won), Eichner delivered an impassioned speech on the importance of voter registration.
“Young people of America, the biggest election of our lifetime is happening. That’s right. Tonight is the final night to register in 20 states in this country,” Eichner began. “Please grab your friends. Tell them to vote. If you believe in equality for women, for people of color, for the LGBTQ community. If you believe that climate change is real and that we need to do something about it, don’t let anyone tell you your vote won’t count.”
He then ended the speech with a timely reference to a major pop star: “Register and vote. You can go to Vote.gov, just like Taylor Swift told you.” Earlier this week, Swift rattled the internet with a lengthy Instagram post supporting U.S. Senate candidate and former two-term governor Phil Bredesen and incumbent U.S. House member Rep. Jim Cooper.
The singer finally breaking her silence on politics clearly impacted Eichner, along with many voters and fans across the nation. According to Vote.org figures provided to Billboard, Swift’s commentary on the upcoming midterm elections on Nov. 6 had “significantly” driven up voter registration among 18- to 29-year-olds in a two-day period.
Watch Eichner’s AMAs speech above.