Billy Eichner put his signature shout to good use at the 2018 American Music Awards to urge young people to vote in next month’s midterm elections.
The “American Horror Story: Apocalypse” star, along with actress Kathryn Hahn, took the stage at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Tuesday night to present the award for Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist.
Eichner used the moment to remind those watching that “the biggest election of our lifetime is happening” in November.
“Tonight is the final night to register in 20 states. Tell your friends to vote, if you believe in equality for women, for people of color, the LGBTQ community; if you believe climate change is real and we need to do something about it,” Eichner told the crowd to uproarious applause. “Don’t let people tell you your vote doesn’t count. It does.
“You can go to vote.gov, like Taylor Swift told you to, and go right now,” he added, in a reference to the pop star’s much-discussed political post on Instagram on Sunday.
Eichner later revealed that he “went off script,” with his co-presenter’s permission, of course. He called the moment a “full on hijacking” on social media.
His reward for being perhaps the most outspoken presenter? A hug from singer Shawn Mendes.
Swift, who opened the show with an explosive performance of “I Did Something Bad,” doubled down on her political messaging when she accepted the trophy for Artist of the Year.
“I just wanted to make a mention of the fact that this award and every single award given out tonight were voted on by the people,” Swift said in her acceptance speech. “And you know what else is voted on by the people is the midterm elections on Nov. 6. Get out and vote.”
Swift made AMAs history by surpassing Whitney Houston as the show’s most decorated female artist ever.