At just 19-years-old, Khalid is keenly aware of the dangers students today face. He joined Shawn Mendes to sing their song “Youth” at Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards and not only dedicated it to those who have survived school shootings, he also asked 12 Parkland, Florida students from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School show choir to join him.
“This past Friday we experienced another tragedy and this time at Santa Fe High School in Texas,” said announcer and helper host Bebe Rexha. “Just a few weeks ago, many students from that very high school joined the protest against gun violence and they are no different than tens of thousands of young adults across this nation who took a stand and are raising their voices to say things must change. They inspire me with their hope, with their compassion, and with their determination to make a difference and build a better world.”
The lyrics of the song promise, “You can’t take my youth away. This soul of mine will never break. As long as I wake up today. You can’t take my youth away.”
When Khalid announced the single May 1, he tweeted the lyric, “Pain, but I won’t let it turn into hate.” Something the Parkland students know well.
Pain, but I won’t let it turn into hate. ❤️❤️❤️ https://t.co/OXLQyWprZZ
— Khalid (@thegreatkhalid) May 1, 2018
Watch the full performance below: