Nick Jonas heard news of the massacre in Orlando and says, "My heart broke."
The 23-year-old singer and longtime advocate for the LGBT community said he wanted to "speak from the heart" when he appeared at a vigil at the Stonewall Inn in New York City on Monday, following the tragic shooting at Pulse nightclub
in Florida on Sunday.
"I grew up here in New York City and in New Jersey, performing in Broadway shows surrounded by some of my closest friends from the LGBT community," Jonas told the crowd. "My father, a minister from New Jersey, shaped my view that love is love and we are all equal."
"No matter who you are, where you're from or where you're going in your life, you have the right to love and be loved. I love you," he added.
"So yesterday, thinking about the families of the victims and the lives lost, I just thought that could be my friend, that could be my people. And all I thought was I feel such pain and sadness for the victims and their families and what's so powerful is, how brave this group is here today," he concluded.
The "Close" singer is in the midst of releasing his latest album, but told KTU 103.5's Cubby and Carolina Show
that when he heard the vigil was happening, he had his team reach out to see if he could lend his support.
"The LGBT community has been such a huge supporter of me from the earliest days of my career," Jonas said. "I didn't have anything prepared, I just tried to get up and speak from the heart...I've never experienced hurt and pain as deep as the families, I'm sure, are feeling at the moment for the victims."
Early Sunday morning, at least 49 people were killed and even more injured during the shooting at Latin night at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida -- the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. You can find all of the names of the victims here
In the wake of the tragedy, President Obama said
the American people "are united in grief, in outrage, and in resolve to defend our people." Countless celebrities and LGBT groups also spoke out. Hear their messages in the video below.