Jared Leto and Celine Dion Honor Victims of Paris Attacks at AMAs

Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman introduces the special performance that moved some to tears

By Mike Vulpo Nov 23, 2015 4:16 AMTags
Jared Leto, 2015 American Music Awards Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The 2015 American Music Awards turned out to be so much more than just music.

At Sunday's star-studded award show, Jared Leto took to the stage to introduce Celine Dion's performance in honor of the tragic events in Paris.

Before any singing began, however, the Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman had some touching words to say to all those affected.

"Earlier this year, my band was wrapping up a tour in Europe and we were looking for a good excuse to stop off in one of our favorite cities in the world, Paris. We played an impromptu show in a place called The Bataclan. It was beautiful, peaceful, and unforgettable," he shared. "What a difference a day makes. Seven months later, on the evening of November 13th, 2015, that same venue was under siege."

He continued, "One of a series of terrorist attacks on Paris that changed the world forever. 129 innocent people died and another seven billion will forever be scarred by this horrific and senseless tragedy."

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Like so many in the music industry, Leto was devastated to hear about the passing of Mercury Music Group/Universal marketing manager Thomas Ayad. But on Sunday night, the musician decided to quote a Paris widower whose message of love went viral earlier this month.

"Antoine Leiris was also at Bataclan and said, ‘Friday night, you took an exceptional life, the love of my life, the mother of my son, but you will not have my hatred. You're asking for it,'" he said. "'But responding with hatred and anger is falling victim to the same ignorance that has made you what you are. You want me to be scared, to view my countrymen with mistrust? You lost. We are just two now. My son and me. But we are stronger than all the armies in the world.'"

Moments before the camera panned to Dion for her rendition of "Hymne à L'Amour" by Edith Liaf, Leto had one final message of unity.

"Tonight, we honor the victims of the unimaginable violence that has taken place in Paris and around the world," he proclaimed. "France matters. Russia matters, Syria matters, Mali matters, the United States matters. The entire world matters and peace is possible."

For more from the 2015 American Music Awards, watch E! News Monday night at 7 and 11 p.m.