John Legend made an emotional return to the stage to perform at the Billboard Music Awards 2020 for the first time since the tragic loss of his son Jack.
The 41-year-old singer dedicated his performance to his wife Chrissy Teigen, as they continued to grieve their loss.
John sang ‘Never Break’ from 2020 album Bigger Love and as he sat behind the piano in the empty Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, he said: “This is for Chrissy.”
His voice was close to cracking as he sang the poignant lyrics: “I’m not worried about us and I’ve never been. We know how the story ends. We will never break.”
The awards ceremony had been postponed from April due to the coronavirus pandemic and was hosted by Kelly Clarkson.
She praised John and Chrissy’s strength in light of the personal tragedy they had suffered.
Introducing his performance on the night, Kelly said: “He and Chrissy both have this warm way of inviting us into their world. The highs and the lows.
“My heart – obviously all of our hearts – go out to you both in this very difficult time.
“And I’m thankful that you continue to share your light and your talent with all of us.”
After the performance, Kelly said the moment had been “very special” and was “possibly my favorite of the night.”
Earlier in the awards ceremony, Lizzo had taken to the stage wearing a dress emblazoned with the word “vote”.
She told fans to use their “power” and vote during a rousing acceptance speech after picking up the gong for top song sales artist.
The pop star spoke out against voter suppression – a contentious issue ahead of next month’s presidential election – and calling for self-acceptance among her fans.
Lizzo said: “I’ve been thinking a lot about suppression and the voices that refused to be suppressed and I wonder would I be standing here right now if it weren’t for the big black women who refused to have their voices be suppressed?
“If you are at home watching this and you are thinking about changing yourself to feel worthy, this is your sign to remain true to who you are.
“When people try to suppress something, it’s normally because that thing holds power, they’re afraid of your power, there’s power in who you are, there’s power in your voice.”
The 32-year-old singer added: “So whether it’s through music, protest, or your right to vote, use your power, use your voice and refuse to be suppressed.”
One of the first winners on the night was teenage pop sensation Billie Eilish, who wore a mask on stage to accept her awards.
The 18-year-old won the first prize of the night, Top Billboard 200 album, for her acclaimed effort When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
She described the win as “amazing” and added: “I never, ever take these for granted, it’s always a shock when I win anything at all.”
Lil Nas X picked up the award for Top Hot 100 song for his viral smash Old Town Road.
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