On Sunday night, The Weeknd opened the 36th Video Music Awards with an eclectic performance of his No.1 hit “Blinding Lights.” He certainly set the bar for each succeeding performance. The “Heartless” superstar was nominated for six awards this year and took home two for Best R&B Video and Video of the Year.
When excepting his first award of the night for Best R&B, The Weeknd was sure to shine light onto the recent injustices due to police brutality.
“It’s really hard for me to celebrate right now and enjoy this moment,” said the Canadian artist. “So I’m just gonna say, justice for Jacob Blake and justice for Breonna Taylor. Thank you.”
The Weeknd’s reference to both Blake and Taylor echoed an on-going fight for African Americans against police brutality. Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old father was recently shot in his back seven times by Kenosha, WI police. Blake has since been paralyzed from the waist down following the brutal and racially enforced attack. While hospitalized he was unlawfully handcuffed to the bed.
Breonna Taylor was a 26-year-old emergency room technician, serving as an essential work during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. Taylor was asleep in her home before she was brutally murdered by police. She bled to death as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. The Lousiville police entered the home on the now-banned “no-knock search warrant.” The Louisville Metro Council unanimously voted for the ban back in June.
The Weeknd reiterated the same sentiment when he accepted his award for Video of The Year as well.