Sunday night singers Khalid and Shawn Mendes paid tribute to victims of gun violence with an emotional performance of their duet “Youth” alongside members of the show choir from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The poignant performance arrives months after a gunman killed 17 people at a rampage in the school and just a couple of days after 10 others were killed in a school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas.
As the two rang out on a hook that reads, “You can’t take my youth away/This soul of mine will never break/As long as I wake up today/You can’t take my youth away,” Khalid wore a t-shirt with a message that read, “Protect Our Guns,” with “Guns” crossed out and replaced with “Children” as Mendes wore a black hoodie that read “Youth.”
They would soon be joined by the chorus of students who all wore the same hoodie as Mendes with the audience rising to their feet to welcome the group.
“Last Friday, we experienced another tragedy, this time at Santa Fe High School in Texas. Just a few weeks ago many students from the very high school joined the protest against gun violence,” Bebe Rexha stated shortly before introducing Khalid and Mendes. “And they’re no different than tens of thousands of young adults across this nation who took a stand and are raising their voices to say: things must change. They inspire me with their hope, with their compassion and with their determination to make a difference and build a better world.”