Taylor Swift’s Speak Now … Help Now

You know this young artist for her four Grammy Awards, numerous No. 1 hits and, most recently, for winning Billboard’s Top 200 Albums Artist, Top Country Artist and Top Country Album for her album, Speak Now. But country starlet Taylor Swift’s most recent venture is all about giving back.

May 21, 2011, Swift opened her final dress rehearsal for the Speak Now tour to the public in an effort to raise money for victims of the deadly tornados that recently ripped through the Southeast. Donating 100 percent of ticket sales to the victims via the Speak Now … Help Now Fund established through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, Swift has taken literally the call of her album to speak now.

In a public statement, Swift said the idea came to her after one of her dancers, who lives in Alabama, shared with her a picture of a cyclone in her backyard.

“We were just floored,” Swift said. “I just felt like if there was any way that I could help with the damage done and all the families who have lost their homes, I had to think of one.” And that’s exactly what she did.

“It came to me really quickly that here we are in rehearsal in an arena where there are empty seats,” she said. “What if we filled those seats and gave all the proceeds to the victims of the tornados?”

“What if” indeed. In all, the event raised more than $750,000 to help the victims of the recent disaster.

The Tennessean called the event’s presentation, which included theatrical elements and Swift on the acoustic guitar, electric guitar, ukulele, banjo and piano, “astonishing.”

Fans began lining up for the “Speak Now … Help Now” special event at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena around 6 a.m. Friday, more than 36 hours before the doors opened. Once all the fans made their way into the arena, the total head count surpassed 13,700.

Swift also expanded her fundraising efforts by streaming two online performances during the benefit event, which gave fans around the world a first look at her new stage and show for the North American leg of the Speak Now World Tour.

Be sure to catch Swift’s North American leg of the Speak Now World Tour, which kicked off this past weekend in Omaha, Nebraska.

Information on how to donate to help tornado victims can be found at taylorswift.com/speaknowhelpnow.
For more details on this tour or to get your ticket please visit taylorswift.com/tour.