Memorable Benefit Concerts in Music

The Concert of New York City (2001)
If you were old enough to remember the extensive news reports, moments of shock and awe on September 11, 2001, then recall the many efforts of healing within the United States. After the terrorist attacks in various parts on the East Coast but extensively on New York City’s World Trade Center, this concert honored for the first respondents in the New York Fire Department, and the New York Police Department, as donated to their families, the victims, and recovery efforts for the area.

The concert founded by Paul McCartney aired on VH1 on October 21 and filmed at Madison Square Garden. McCartney reached out to music veterans like Elton John, The Who, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards. American performers included Melissa Etheridge, Destiny’s Child, Billy Joel, and John Mellencamp to name a few. Then Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the New York Yankees and New York natives, Spike Lee, Woody Allen, and Martin Scorsese showed their support. With a mix of short films, collaborative performances, and emotional speeches, the concert was successful.  The concert raised over $35 million dollars, and auctioned music memorabilia with over sixty plus signatures for the Robin Hood Foundation, aimed at combating poverty and related effects, in New York City.

Scandals and controversies were few in between, and a continued show of the benefits of great planning, especially at the 11th hour. The concert even re-aired a decade later in 2011 on the anniversary of the attacks, but many copies exist for streaming or purchase. Despite the tough time the entire country felt, the concert was a success and continued to use the benefit concert format employed many years before.

In the end, no matter what the cause, there will always be room for giving and sharing for those that need it. With music being one of our universal languages, benefit concerts and performances will always be a go-to for support and entertainment all in one.

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Memorable Benefit Concerts in Music: Image courtesy of Kevin Mazur/Getty

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