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Tonys 2016: watch Lin-Manuel Miranda pay tribute via sonnet to the victims of the Orlando shooting

Constance Grady is a senior correspondent on the Culture team for Vox, where since 2016 she has covered books, publishing, gender, celebrity analysis, and theater.

While accepting the Tony Award for Best Score of a Musical, one of many awards won by Hamilton tonight, Lin-Manuel Miranda upended expectations. Miranda has tended to rap his acceptance speeches at previous award shows (including this year's Grammys), so many expected he would do the same tonight.

But the composer had other ideas.

"I’m not freestyling, I’m too old," he declared at the top of his speech. "I wrote you a sonnet instead." In the ensuing poem he discussed his love for his wife, the Orlando shooting, and theater as a haven of tolerance and inclusivity — all in perfect iambic pentameter, through sobs. "The show is proof that history remembers," he said. "We live in times when hate and fear seem stronger. We rise and fall in light from dying embers, remembrances that hope and love last longer."

Miranda's speech was just part of the Tonys' respectful nod toward the victims of the Orlando shooting. Host James Corden opened the program with a speech on how the theater community rejects the violence of the shooting and hopes to be inclusive to all, while many attendees are wearing silver ribbons in tribute to those lost and injured.

Miranda likely isn't done winning awards just yet. He’ll have to have something really surprising in his back pocket for the Oscars if he wins for Moana, the upcoming Disney film he wrote the songs for.

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