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James Corden dedicates Tony Awards to Orlando victims in powerful opening speech

Nick Duffy June 13, 2016

James Corden opened the Tony Awards with a dedication to the victims of the Orlando terror attacks.

50 people were killed and 53 injured yesterday in the shocking terrorist hate crime attack, which saw a gunman open fire inside The Pulse gay bar in Orlando, Florida.

ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the attack, which was perpetrated by US citizen Omar Mateen. The majority of the victims were Latino.

Tonys host James Corden opened the show with a tribute.


He said: “All around the world, people are trying to come to terms with the horrific events that occurred in Orlando this morning.

“On behalf of the whole theatre community, and every person in this room, our hearts go out to all those affected by this atrocity.

“All we can say is you are not on your own right now. Your tragedy is our tragedy.

“Theatre is a place where every race, creed, sexuality and gender is equal, is embraced and is loved.

“Hate will never win. Together, we have to make sure of that.

“Tonight’s show stands as a symbol and celebration of that principle.”

Elsewhere, Broadway composer and star Lin Manuel-Miranda led tributes to the attack through a sonnet.

Speaking after picking up his award for Best Score, one of eleven awards scooped by the musical Hamilton, the star read a poem aloud from stage in lieu of a speech.

He said: “My wife’s the reason anything gets done/She nudges me towards promise by degrees

“She is a perfect symphony of one/Our son is her most beautiful reprise.

“We chase the melodies that seem to find us/Until they’re finished songs and start to play

“When senseless acts of tragedy remind us/That nothing here is promised, not one day.

“This show is proof that history remembers/We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger.

“We rise and fall and light from dying embers/Remembrances that hope and love lasts long

“And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love

“Cannot be killed or swept aside,

“I sing Vanessa’s symphony, Eliza tells her story.

“Now fill the world with Music, Love and Pride.”

Vanessa and Eliza reference the lead female characters in his musicals In the Heights and Hamilton respectively.

More: Awards, Florida, Gay, LGBT, Orlando, Orlando Massacre, sexuality, Tony, tonys, US

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