Chris Brown Is Giving Back, Whether You Like It or Not
By PopEater Staff Posted May 3rd 2010 04:59PM
Chris Brown has his eyes set on helping people, no matter what the public or media thinks. The singer (who turns the-big-21 on May 5) is looking to raise money for both his hometown community of Richmond, Virginia, as well as the earthquake victims of Haiti with the "Virginia Stand Up! A Call to Action" concert he's organizing and headlining on May 15. Brown spoke to PopEater about what led to his charitable ways, and despite what many in the media think, there's no ulterior motive behind the concert. "It's not for PR or press," Brown tells PopEater, admitting that when the media and others say it's just a ploy to revamp his image following his assault arrest, "it hurts because it's from my heart."
What prompted you to look into doing a charity concert?
I did a Walk for Relief for Naomi Campbell, and I always wanted to do something in my community. Richmond and virginia isn't the wealthiest place, there's a lot of poverty and people struggling, so I always wanted to give back from my community. Doing Naomi's event really triggered me to continue to do something that would benefit Haiti as well, but definitely give back to my community.
What has the response in Virginia been like?
The response has been incredible. I still live out here, so people come up to me if I'm in the store and tell 'I think it's great what you're doing.' It's going to be incredible. Everybody's happy about it.
Do you think people have forgotten about the Haiti tragedy already?
I think once something is urgent, people are more prone to help, but over time it lessens the concern from the general people. I feel like always keeping it fresh and stressing the issue is great to continue to do.
Do you think younger celebrities like yourself do enough for charity?
Kids are rebellious and a lot more concerned with their own personal lives than anybody elses, so I can understand why a lot of younger artists tend not to do that until they get older. But I've done everything... been a pop star, traveled the world, movies, the whole nine, so I feel like as a young guy, so many people look up to me. Kids, adults, parents -- from my position, it's about helping out. Why not? I've got everything else. Everyone's been supportive of me, so why not help other people in need who need it more than I do?
Does it bother you that some in the media question your motives for things like this, claiming it's more PR than good will?
To be honest, it does. I'm human, just like the next person. I could care less about them wanting to participate, because it's something I'm going to do to help my community. But When it's a question of 'Oh, is he doing this to gain fans or get his image back, it hurts. When you do something genuinely from your heart, it's not for PR or press. If that was the case, I'd try to get Obama or somebody. 'Come out, please come out!' [Laughs] But it hurts because it's from my heart and I'm from Virginia and want to help my community out. I'm always here, and I always want to help out. Even with the Haiti stuff I'm doing... I wanted to do my own so that some of the proceeds would benefit them.
This weekend you Tweeted that if you didn't love your fans and music so much, you'd give up. What was that in response to?
I'm just saying in general. A lot of stuff as a guy, it's a hard world. Not to say it's bad, but as far as my passion for music and my fans, that's what drives me. The whole industry itself is fabricated to me. My drive is my music, what I love to do, entertaining, being creative, dancing... but the number one thing that's kept me strong through everything is my fans. From grandmothers to children to kids, they make the support that much greater. I appreciate that, and that's what I meant by it.
And has Twitter been a big help when it comes to support?
Yeah, it does. Twitter is a great outlet. People tend to hate on twitter and say it depreciates an artists value. As a young guy, the new age of being internet savvy and being able to keep in contact or see what your favorite person is doing and connect with them all makes it sweeter because you feel a personal connection. Otherwise, you only see them if they come to your city and do a show. You get to interact with them, and who knows, sometimes they might reply or retweet and you see they're really hearing you. We see our fans.
So once this charity concert is done, what's next?
I have a charity I work with called Best Buddies. A lot of the proceeds from my concerts goes to that organization that deals with disabilities and kids with autism. I've been working with them for more than a year and a half. It's been great. Otherwise, I have a tour, I'm going to Brazil, then overseas for a while and then hopefully shoot a couple more videos. Then we have a movie coming out in August called 'The Takers.'
Ticket sales from the 'Stand Up!' concert will benefit The American Red Cross, the Greater Richmond Chapter's local efforts and their continued relief in Haiti, as well as The Central Virginia Food Bank. Concertgoers can even bring non-perishable food items to be donated.
Chris Brown Snapshots
Entertainer Chris Brown sings the national anthem prior to the start of a WBA welterweight boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Shane Mosley, Saturday, May 1, 2010, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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