Justin Bieber was honored at Saturday’s (Nov. 14) filming of Nickelodeon’s 2015 Halo Awards for his work with Make-A-Wish and Pencils for Promise, but when he took the stage, he encouraged the audience to think of others instead. He asked the crowd to participate in a moment of silence in recognition of the sad events happening around the world, presumably paying respect to those affected by Friday night’s (Nov. 13) terrorist attacks in Paris.
Silence overtook New York City’s Pier 36, where community service — ranging from teens providing free music lessons to giving out backpacks filled with school supplies to those who can’t afford them — was applauded. Bieber was presented with the first-ever Halo Hall of Fame award for his philanthropic work.
“Let’s make this world a little bit better,” Bieber said, encouraging the kids in the crowd to give a round of applause to themselves after their moment of silence. The singer, who appeared to be a bit emotional, also talked about bringing light into darkness.
The ceremony’s young honorees included 16-year-old Ethan Cruikshank from Mechanicsville, Va.; 15-year-old Riley Gantt from Sherman Oaks, Calif.; 14-year-old Joshua Williams from Miami Beach, Fla.; and 18-year-old Ruchita Zaparde from Plainsboro, N.J.
Earlier, Bieber’s guitarist Dan Kanter posted a tribute on Facebook to Thomas Ayed, one of the UMG employees who died during the attack on Le Bataclan.
“Deeply saddened by the loss of our friend Thomas Ayad last night in Paris. We’ve been so close with Universal France for the last 6 years and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family and the entire Universal France family. Thomas was a wonderful, kindhearted person, who always went over and above – especially for James Scrappy Stassen Allison Kaye Scarinzi Mike Alexander and me. Years ago on a day off in Paris, Metallica were in town and they wouldn’t allow any guests. Thomas accompanied me while pretending I was a Universal France intern – so I could meet James and spend the day at the TV station watching them rehearse and later perform. He will be missed. What a horrific tragedy,” Kanter wrote.
The Halo Awards will air on Nickelodeon on Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
Reporting by Michele Amabile Angermiller.