Here’s some heartwarming news in the world of music. Demi Lovato’s world tour is underway, and she’s just updated her Facebook page with an announcement. “This is a different kind of tour, and one of the things that makes it so special is my friend, Spencer. I’m so honored to have him on tour with me sharing his beautiful and empowering message with all of us.” The man she’s referencing is Spencer West, an author and motivational speaker who lost the lower half of his body, from the pelvis down, at age five. The author and speaker has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro using his hands and his wheelchair, written the best-selling book Standing Tall: My Journey, and starred in a documentary about his life, Redefine Possible: The Story of Spencer West. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2012.
“I met him through ‘Free the Children,’” Demi said, “we ended up seeing each other again in Africa, and after I spent some time with him and realized what an incredible person he is and how good he is at motivational speaking, I decided to bring him on the tour.” That’s right – Demi’s opening act is a motivational speaker. She didn’t stop there. She designed bracelets to sell on her tour as well, called “Rafiki Friend Chains,” (rafiki is the Swahili word for “friend”). All of the proceeds go to support a women’s empowerment center in East Africa.
Other female artists have shown their support for worthy causes in the past month as well. Katy Perry recently worked with Staples to raise $2.5 million for education programs across America. “I’m proud that I get to shine my light on something truly impactful,” she said of the project. The Make Roar Happen Campaign is one of her many charitable projects, including Young Survival Coalition, H&M’s Fashion Against AIDs Campaign, Children’s Health Fund, Generosity Water, and more. Through the VMAs and her Facebook page, Miley Cyrus has been making moves to raise awareness for homeless youths. Of her infamous appearance with the homeless Jesse Helt at the awards ceremony, she said, “If I’m going to be given this loud of a voice and this big of an image and this big of a platform and this huge of an opportunity to talk to young people in America right now, what am I really trying to say?”