Musicians With Heart

Less than two weeks after a gunman unleashed his anger on students and teachers at Virginia Tech, a famous R&B singer has put his feelings about the event into song.

According to his publicist, R. Kelly has written a new song, “Rise Up,” about healing in the aftermath of the shootings that snuffed out 33 lives.

The new song will be available (digitally) beginning May 15th, and according to Kelly’s record label, 100% of the net proceeds from its sale will go to the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund. (The fund was created to provide assistance to the victims of the families, as well as grief counseling for those affected by the massacre.)

The 40-year-old singer says he was inspired to write the emotional ballad after watching the events unfold on television while he was on tour.

Jive Records released the song’s lyrics, which include the lines: “Rise up, when you feel you can’t go on, rise up, and all of your hope is gone, rise up, when you’re weak and you can’t be strong.”

Another singer lending a hand to those in need is country music star Toby Keith.

In a recent statement to the media, Keith reports that his annual charity auction for families of pediatric cancer patients may have surpassed the $400,000 mark. (That’s the amount the event raised last year).

This year’s event took place in Oklahoma City and featured a golf outing and celebrity auction. Some of the items auctioned included memorabilia from Garth Brooks, Sammy Hagar and Bob Seger, and sports memorabilia autographed by golfer Tiger Woods and baseball Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle.

All of the proceeds from Keith’s benefit go to benefit Ally’s House, an organization named after Allison Webb—-the daughter of Keith’s original bandmate Scott Webb. Allison died in August 2003, one month before her third birthday, from a form of kidney cancer called Wilm’s tumors.

Keith’s foundation helps pay for medical bills, prescriptions, housing, transportation, toys, food, clothing and other expenses for families of children with cancer.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.