Music for Good: How Musicians Strive for a Better Tomorrow

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Love her or hate her, Taylor Swift’s dedication to charity is undeniable. The pop star has long been involved in philanthropy, from raising $750,000 for tornado victims at a 2011 Nashville concert, to donating to charities and individuals–including a $50,000 donation to a dancer’s young nephew fighting cancer. Swift has also used her music to support causes as well, performing a heart-wrenching “Ronan” dedicated to a young boy who lost his fight with cancer at the 2012 Stand Up To Cancer television event to more recently donating $50,000 to New York City public schools after pledging to donate sales from “Welcome to New York” to charity. Proceeds from her recent music video for “Wildest Dreams” will be donated to the African Parks Foundation of America. Taylor Swift has also made an effort to impact fans through hospital visits and participating in Make-A-Wish events. Most recently, Taylor Swift partnered with Scholastic to donate 25,000 books to New York City schools for its “Open a World of Possible” initiative.

“Happy” singer Pharrell Williams initiated the non-profit From One Hand To AnOTHER, aimed at providing educational opportunities for at-risk youth. In 2008, the organization created a Summer of Innovation camp with NASA under Barack Obama’s “Educate to Innovate” Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) initiative. By 2014, 500 students were enrolled in this camp at nine locations. The organization also hosts after-school enrichment programs in the Virginia Beach area, where Pharrell grew up, and donates school supplies. Pharrell auctioned his iconic Grammy Awards hat to support his non-profit, with Arby’s bidding the highest at $44,100.

Hozier signed and auctioned the leather boots he wore at Glastonbury Festival 2015 with proceeds given to Small Steps Project. The organization holds Celebrity Shoe Auctions to raise money for its emergency aid distribution projects and help children in need take steps toward an education.

Many artists took part in World Aids Day on December 1st. U2’s Bono led a New York City concert under his ONE and (RED) campaigns aimed at fighting extreme poverty and eradicating AIDS respectively. The singer and activist shared the stage with artists including Hozier, Miley Cyrus, and Jessie J, bringing top musicians together with world leaders and commendable partners to create an unforgettable night.

Musicians are very vocal among the innumerable individuals who have personally worked to make the world a better place. Their actions have spread awareness and changed lives in monumental ways.

As part of the music community, Rock on Philly seeks to do the same. On December 23, we will be hosting out first A Very Philly Christmas at World Cafe Live featuring more than 20 Philly artists, including Andorra, Rivers Monroe, and Chris Gennett. Tickets are $3 in advance and $5 at the door, with proceeds going to the local charity Musicopia that brings music music education and training to local underprivileged children.

Tell us about your favorite charitable musician in the comments below!

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