The 2018 Billboard Music Awards aired March 20th, featuring performances from Jennifer Lopez, Kelly Clarkson, Camila Cabello, Ariana Grande, BTS, and Shawn Mendes. While earlier Shawn Mendes performed the leading single “In My Blood” off his upcoming self-titled album, he came back later to perform “Youth” with Khalid along with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School choir.
“Youth” is an emotional and touching single written from the perspective of the youth in our world, stating that you can’t take their adolescence away amidst all of the hate that is among the world. Shawn and Khalid paid tribute towards the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that took place in February 2018.
As well as declaring that the violence and hate in the world will not stop our youth from continuing their lives, Mendes’ and Khalid also spread awareness on gun violence. Khalid wore a blue shirt with “protect our guns” but with a slash through “guns” and “children” placed under it. The statement was in bold, capital white letters on the front. Shawn and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas choir wore his “Youth” merchandise, with half the proceeds going towards March For Our Lives.
“Youth” is the third single off Mendes’ upcoming album. It gives off a different feel than his past singles, a more R&B vibe. When asked what the importance of his song is, Shawn said that “Youth” is the “most important song from the album.” He also added, that when writing it, he wanted it to be “about the feeling for when tragedy hits.” Mendes’ started writing it shortly after the Manchester attack on May 22nd, 2017.
With the powerful lyrics and meaning behind the song, not to mention the performance from Shawn, Khalid, and the MSDHS Choir, the tribute was a success and made every eye in the room water.
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