Kelly Clarkson and P!nk open 2017 American Music Awards with moving tribute to first responders

Wendy Geller
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Kelly Clarkson and P!nk opened up the 2017 American Music Awards Sunday (Nov. 19) with a rare social statement, but one that most of the nation — regardless of political affiliation — could get behind.

The two singers were introduced by host Jamie Foxx, who noted, “This year, we needed the power of music to help us escape the news of today. We needed the power of music to help us heal. From hurricanes, wildfires, hate, hatred-fueled violence, 2017 was a year that tested our faith. In these moments of crisis, heroes emerged. … Together, we shall overcome the pain. Together, we can unite as a people and as a nation.”

The pair then took the stage for a heartfelt performance of R.E.M.’s 1993 hit ballad “Everybody Hurts.” 

Clarkson and P!nk’s performance — trading off verses of the unifying song — was a moving tribute to first responders: police officers, firefighters, paramedics, disaster relief teams, and all those who show up at the first sign of trouble.

In addition to having several actual in-person responders honored onstage directly prior to the performance, the two singers were backed by a dramatic photo montage displaying pics of different scenarios where first responders were crucial this year — including such events as shootings, hurricanes, fires, floods, and other natural disasters that have ravaged the country in 2017.

Kelly Clarkson and P!nk onstage during the 2017 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on Nov. 19 in Los Angeles. (Getty Images)

The 2017 American Music Awards were aired live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.