The Hustlers actor kicked off the evening's virtual proceedings with a joke about her being the "only one brave enough" to host the event during the ongoing pandemic, before delivering a rousing monologue that discussed COVID-19, the global BLM protests and how music can inspire cultural change and "help us heal".
"It's all love, and that's what tonight is about," the 27-year said. "As rough as [this year has] been, there have been incredible moments of inspiration that have given my generation hope.
"We've seen heroes going above and beyond, whether they drive a delivery truck, work at a grocery store, or serve on the front lines in a hospital. And with the Black Lives Matter movement, we've seen our generation step up, take to the streets, and make sure our voices will be heard. Enough is enough!"
Palmer went on to specifically address the recent shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, describing the incident as "yet another devastating reminder that we can't stop. That we can never tolerate police brutality. Or any injustice. We must continue the fight to end systemic racism".
Before the official ceremony began – which came complete with digital audience and remote performances from artists such as Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Lewis Capaldi, The Weeknd, Black Eyed Peas and more – Palmer dedicated the show to late Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, who passed away from colon cancer on Friday, August 28.
"Before we get into the music tonight, we need to talk about the devastating loss of Chadwick Boseman, an actor whose talent and passion is a true inspiration to all the fans he touched and everyone he encountered," she said.
"We dedicate tonight's show to a man whose spirit touched so many. He is a true hero. Not just on screen but in everything he did. His impact lives forever."
For more information on how you can support Black Lives Matter, please visit its official website or donate here. Readers can also donate to the UK anti-discrimination group Stand Up To Racism, and the Unite Families & Friends Campaign, which supports those affected by deaths in police, prison and psychiatric custody.
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