Last month, Orlando experienced two devastating shooting tragedies that have left the country in shock and mourning for its innocent victims. After promising that he wouldn’t cancel his concert in Orlando, Justin Bieber went one step further and used his stage time on Friday night to pay tribute to The Voice’s Christina Grimmie and the 49 victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre.
While performing at Amway Center, Bieber began singing his song “Purpose,” which features soulful lyrics like, “Feeling like I’m breathing my last breath/Feeling like I’m walking my last steps/Look at all of these tears I’ve wept/Look at all the promises that I’ve kept.” At the same time, a projection screen dropped down behind him that displayed the names of all of the Pulse victims, as well as Grimmie, who was shot and killed after her Orlando concert two weeks ago by a man armed with two guns.
At one point, Bieber turned to the screen to serenade the memory of the victims.
On June 12, Omar Mateen, an American man who pledged allegiance to ISIS, shot and killed 49 people and wounded 53 others inside Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando. Police and Mateen were then involved in a three-hour standoff before police shot and killed Mateen. That same weekend, Grimmie was shot four times by Kevin James Loibl while she signed autographs outside of The Plaza Live in Orlando. Loibl shot and killed himself after Grimmie’s brother tackled him to the ground.
Following the tragedy, Bieber tweeted, “I stand with Orlando in support,” and vowed to help keep Orlando strong by not canceling his show.
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For a singer who has become better known for fistfights and the many times he has now fallen on stage, it’s really nice to see Biebs getting props for doing the right thing and showing his caring and compassionate side. Let’s remember that he’s only 22 and has grown up in the spotlight. His latest album makes it clear that he’s on a spiritual journey. And whether we understand some of his questionable choices or not, this was a classy move on his part. Neither Bieber nor the world will forget the Orlando shooting victims.