Former Disney star turned rising star vocalist Dove Cameron made her debut at the American Music Awards (AMA) on Sunday night (Nov. 20). Along with an electrifying performance of her hit song “Boyfriend,” she also took home the coveted title of New Artist of the Year and paid tribute to her community in the wake of tragedy.
Videos by American Songwriter
“I want to start by saying that every award that I ever win will always be first and foremost dedicated to the queer community at large,” Cameron said in her acceptance speech. “You guys have carved out such a space for me to be myself and to write music about it, and I’ve never felt safer or more loved and more supported, and I hope I can give you some semblance of that same feeling in my music.”
The night before the ceremony, a 22-year-old gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Five people were killed with at least 25 people injured in the Club Q shooting.
In her speech, Cameron continued, “On the heels of the tragedy that happened at Club Q in Colorado Springs, I want to remind everyone how important queer visibility is, and how important our community is. And I want to direct your attention to organizations like GLAAD and The Trevor Project for what you can do right now. I want to remind you that you are made absolutely right, and you are so loved and so held, and I want to thank you for supporting me. Thank you for holding the space – I’m holding it for you too.”
The hit she performed during the ceremony has been an instrumental piece in her own self-discovery. “[Boyfriend] was such a huge part of me finding my own identity and embracing my queerness,” Cameron explained as a recent guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. “It was such a key to the gate for me into stepping into myself wholly, in a way that I never knew if I was gonna be privileged enough to find those pieces of myself and exist as that person.”
Watch a clip of her AMA performance, below.
Photo by Kristen Jan Wong / ABC