Celine Dion and Jared Leto have paid tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks at the American Music awards, with the singer performing Edith Piaf’s Hymne à L’amour while Leto introduced her by reading out a note by French journalist Antoine Leiris whose wife was killed during the at the Bataclan concert hall.
Quoting from the note in English, Leto read Leiris’ words to the terrorists:
“You will not have my hatred… I will not give you the satisfaction of hating you. You want it, but to respond to hatred with anger would be to give in to the same ignorance that made you what you are.”
— AMAs (@TheAMAs) November 23, 2015
Leto also recounted called his band’s recent performance at the Bataclan venue, which he described as “beautiful, peaceful and unforgettable”, while also honoured the victims of the attack, including late record company rep Thomas Ayad.
Leto went on to urge peace, also expanding on Leiris’ message of unity and denunciation of hatred by subtly touching on the issue of immigration, reminding us that “many of us here are the sons and the daughters of immigrants,” going on to note Steve Jobs and President Barack Obama as notable sons of immigrants.
He then gave up the stage to Celine, who delivered a powerful performance of Piaf’s Hymne à L’amour while backed by projected images of Paris monuments and tributes left in the wake of the attacks.
“We felt it was important to show our solidarity in light of the recent events in Paris and all around the world,” Larry Klein, AMA producer said in a statement, reported to Billboard. “Celine’s performance will help us express our feelings through song, when words do not suffice.”