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Photo courtesy / Sabrina Katz
Khalid’s ‘Suncity’: the healing power of music
September 13, 2019
Hometown hero and fan favorite Khalid hosted a concert to raise money for the victims and families of the shooting that occurred in El Paso on August 3. The concert, “Khalid & Friends: A Night for Suncity,” took place on September 1 at the Don Haskins Center and raised about $500,000.
From the start of his career, Khalid has made many strides towards becoming a successful and well-known performer. Since he signed a record deal in 2016, the young artist has won an MTV Video Music Award and a Teen Choice Award. The 21-year-old first rose to fame after his song “Location,” from the album “American Teen,” became a hit. This album makes several references to El Paso, in an effort to show gratitude toward his hometown. Following the mass shooting, Khalid – being from El Paso – decided that all of the profit made from the tickets and sales at the event would be donated to the El Paso Community Foundation’s Victims’ Fund .
“I want to give back to my community of El Paso, the city of the 915, who has given so much to me,” Khalid said during a pre-concert interview. “Please come out and let’s heal together through music while raising money to help those who need it.”
Before Khalid’s performance, guest speakers Matthew McConaughey and presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke came out on stage and conveyed their admiration of the city. While O’Rourke described how much faith and love he has for his hometown, McConaughey called for the state of Texas to come together and remain stronger than ever.
Other artists who attended the concert included SZA, Rae Sremmurd, and Lil Yachty. Throughout their performances, the artists mentioned El Paso and gave advice to the community to remain strong and heal together.
“The experience was incredible, and I felt it brought El Paso together,” sophomore Sabrina Katz said. “Even though the guest artists did not give a full speech about the situation, they went out of their way to show the local community how much they care by being in attendance.”
Khalid, however, has not stopped at unifying the city through his performance. He has also started selling t-shirts that say, “Forever the 915,” and is donating all of the money to the El Paso Victims’ Fund.
To end the concert, Khalid reminded the audience that, through all of the hard times, the community needs to remain, “El Paso Strong.”