Celine Dion's soulful performance of Edith Piaf's "Hymne à L’Amour” at the American Music Awards was the perfect way to honour the 130 lives lost in Paris after a series of terror attacks earlier this month.
The American Music Awards first announced Dion would sing this French classic two days before the ceremony to pay tribute to the victims — and on Sunday night, the songstress delivered.
Celine Dion performs during the 2015 American Music Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday. (Photo: Kevin Mazur/AMA2015/WireImage)
Dressed in a black, mermaid-style ball gown with pastel roses near the hem, Dion's rendition brought several people in the audience to tears Sunday, as she sang in front of a series of images from the Paris vigils. (Watch video above.)
The Grammy-winning singer's emotional performance was preceded by a passionate speech from AMA presenter Jared Leto.
Leto, who introduced Dion, recounted performing with his band 30 Seconds to Mars in Paris at the Bataclan concert hall seven months before it was stormed by armed suicide bombers in a "horrific and senseless tragedy."
He described his band's show that night as "beautiful, peaceful and unforgettable," and also honoured Thomas Ayad, a Universal Music Group executive who died in the Paris attacks.
“France matters. Russia matters. Syria matters. Mali matters. The Middle East matters. The United States matters. The entire world matters and peace is possible.”
The Oscar winner appealed to viewers' humanity by briefly addressing the Syrian refugee crisis, and noted that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs — "one of the world's greatest voices" — was the son of a Syrian immigrant.
Later, Leto said, "Tonight we honour the victims of the unimaginable violence that has taken place in Paris and around the world."
He continued, “France matters. Russia matters. Syria matters. Mali matters. The Middle East matters. The United States matters. The entire world matters and peace is possible.”
"By the way," he added, "Many of us here are the sons and the daughters of immigrants."
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