By Amanda Wicks
Mere hours after Justin Bieber’s friend and fellow singer Christina Grimmie was shot and killed by a deranged fan in Orlando, Pulse Nightclub suffered the country’s worst mass shooting. When Bieber performed in the city last night (June 30), he paid tribute to the 49 victims.
Bieber used his song “Purpose” as the backdrop for the emotional moment. At first, he sat down onstage, moving close to one end so he was within reaching distance of the crowd there. “Sup, guys,” he said before beginning to sing.
“Just thinking of the families, I’m really feeling for them, ya know,” Bieber told the sold out house. “It’s hard to really be happy in a time like this and it means a lot that you guys are out here and you’re smiling, trying to get away from it.”
“So much love goes out to you guys, to all the families,” he continued. “Also, let’s celebrate. They can’t take down Orlando!”
As he sang, the names of those who died at the club scrolled up the screen. A minute into his performance, Bieber stood up, walked to the screen and faced it for the remainder of the song so his back was to the audience. Grimmie’s name was also included as was the hashtag #OrlandoStrong.
Watch his tribute below.