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World Kindness Day: When famous musicians give back to their fans
We've compiled a heap of occasions when world famous musicians gave back to their supporters, when they needed them the most.
Last updated: 14th Nov 2018. Originally published: 13th Nov 2018
Image: Getty Images/Dave Hogan for One Love Manchester
Words: Megan Roberts
Like many national awareness days and celebrations, we wouldn’t be the only ones if we said that World Kindness Day almost instantly has us thinking why it needs its own specific day dedicated to it because… well…shouldn’t everyday be an opportunity to be kind?
Much like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, we don’t need a special day to make the people that we care about feel special, we should just do that everyday, right?
But this isn’t a capitalist invention to make us spend money we don’t have, and a lot like WMHD, sometimes we just need reminding to be that little bit kinder. Whether that means buying our mate the gig ticket we knew they wanted but couldn’t afford or just lending an ear to a stranger.
Although it seems like the gulf between fan and artist is that vast that there is no way such superstars could help with the everyday of normal people such as you and I, however this is not always the case and, in fact, there are a heap of artists who have looked to use their position of power for the greater good.
We've compiled a heap of occasions when world famous musicians gave back to their fans, when they needed them most.
One of the most well known acts of kindness in music came only recently, when in response to the Manchester Arena attack during her Dangerous Woman tour, Ariana Grande put on the One Love Manchester benefit concert to raise money for the families of the victims. The huge event featured the likes of Liam Gallagher, Miley Cyrus, The Black Eyed Peas and loads more with proceeds from the event benefit the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.
We can’t talk about acts of kindness from international superstars without talking about Sir Bob Geldof. After all the Live Aid concerts, are probably the biggest charity concerts of our generation and are often thought of as the epitome of our favourite musicians simply doing something to be give back to those who need it desperately.
Moving on to the One Direction boys, who are no stranger to being kind themselves; lovely lad Harry Styles reached out to a terminally ill fan named Campbell battling cancer by visiting her home and inviting her family to one of their show while on a less serious note, who can forget when the singer spent £3,000 on pizzas to feed the homeless?
This year’s X factor judge Louis Tomlinson helped out current contestant Anthony Russell get the help and rehabilitation he needed after seeing him on the show last year and being moved by his story and he’s also known to have recorded an appeal video to raise money for a 2-year-old cancer sufferer and has donated £7,000 to a young fan with cerebral palsy.
Possibly the most emotive act of kindness of recent years was when Florence and The Machine surprised a 15-year old fan in Austin, Texas who was too sick to leave her hospice bed. After set back after set back, she was finally given the news that she wouldn't be well enough to make the FloMac concert she'd had her heart set on. So the hospice, by something of a miracle, managed to get in touch with Florence and in an incredibly moving display, she brought the gig to her bedside. Despite being incredibly poorly, the girl was able to smile, enjoy life and simply forget about her prognosis, and just be 15 again by sharing a few precious moments with her idol as she sang the words from 'Dog Days are Over' back to her.
NEW: Photos show @Drake presenting a $50,000 scholarship check to a student outside the Frost School of Music. Photos courtesy Daniela Calderon. pic.twitter.com/Us757nsJBW
'Drizzy' Drake himself surprised a fan when taking a break from shooting his 'God's Plan' video, giving a University of Miami student $50k to pay for their tuition fees, while Stormzy also this year donated £9k so one of his fans could go to Harvard - talk about making dreams come true.
'Unforgettable' singer French Montana set up a charity which helps disadvantaged kids in American schools which don’t receive the funding they need. But his efforts aren’t just limited to the States, after filming a music video in Africa, he was so touched that he decided to set up a foundation to build a medical centre in Uganda. French’s initial donation of $100,000 really helped to snowball the campaign and encouraged other artists to pitch in and get involved including his good pal The Weeknd who matched his efforts.
Miley Cyrus champions body positivity and empowerment by being an advocate for change including inclusivity and gender fluidity movements. Her own charity, the Happy Hippie Foundation, is a non-profit organisation which was set up with the intention of encouraging young people to fight social injustice with the goal of protecting our vulnerable young people especially homeless youth and LBTQ+ groups.
She has also been involved in many high profile campaigns which recognise the harm of social media on a young people. Miley is firmly against photoshopped images in the media, openly questions body censorship by supporting the ‘free the nipple’ campaign challenging preconceived ideas when it comes to femininity and gendered beauty standards. Go Miley!
Of course, this blog wouldn't be complete without an honourable mention to random acts of kindness veteran Taylor Swift.
What self proclaimed 'Swiftie' can forget 2014’s ‘Swiftmas,’ otherwise known as ‘Taylor’s Gift of Giving’ in the form of a viral YouTube video which showed Taylor sending care packages to her fans and filmed their reactions including a 96-year WWII superfan.
If that’s not enough, back in 2016 Taybae donated a massive one million dollars to the Louisiana flood campaign to help provide relief to victims to had lost their homes. Amongst many other acts of kindness in the very same year, she also has been known to have given $50k to a fan with leukaemia who had missed out on going to one of her concerts. Taylor Swift really is the gift that keeps on giving.
There are plenty more instances we could talk about, so here are a few other honourable mentions -
- In 2016 Britney Spears donated the clothes off her own back to raise money the flood disaster relief in her home state of Louisiana.
- Justin Bieber put on a surprise birthday party for one of his ill fans in 2015 - and even bought her a dress!
- Bon Jovi surprised a lifelong fan who was suffering with cancer by taking her and her family out for a meal back in 2016.
- Ed Sheeran recently donated his entire clothing wardrobe to charities in his hometown in Suffolk, raising £50k.
- In 2017 Chris Martin took time out of his touring schedule to visit a sick Coldplay super-fan in hospital.
- Beyonce face-timed a sick fan at one of her concerts in 2017.