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Jennifer Hudson called for changes to gun laws in America as she performed at the March for Our Lives concert in Washington D.C.
The 36-year-old Oscar winner closed the gig on Saturday (24Mar18) with a cover of Bob Dylan’s 1964 protest anthem The Times They Are A-Changin’, and was joined on stage by a student choir for the emotional performance.
“We all came here for change today, right?” Hudson asked the crowd. “We’ve all lost somebody. I’m sure a long time ago, you never thought you’d be standing here today. But we’re all here today for a reason. We all got a story, we all got a purpose, and we all want change.”
In 2008, the singer lost her mother Darnell Donerson, brother Jason Hudson and seven-year-old nephew Julian King to gun violence in 2008. William Balfour, the estranged husband of her sister Julia, was charged with three counts of first-degree murder, and sentenced to three life sentences without the possibility of parole in 2012.
More than half a million people took to the streets of Washington D.C. calling for legislation to address the gun violence issue in the country. More than 800 other marches were held across the U.S., including Los Angeles and New York.
The march was planned by students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 teenagers were killed in a devastating school shooting in Florida on 14 February (18).
Students including Jaclyn Corin, Cameron Kasky, David Hogg, Emma Gonzalez and Alex Wind also joined Hudson on stage towards the end of her performance.
Other performers included Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, Common, Andra Day and Vic Mensa.
The We Could Be Free rapper told reporters that the march was just the beginning.
“This is a powerful event, a powerful moment at time, and I believe that this won’t stop here,” Mensa told CNN. “That this will continue and go where it needs to go."