Adam Lambert Pulls an Oprah, Quietly Raises Over $30,000 Overnight for Charity:Water
So what does it take to inspire ordinary people from all over the world to jump on a charity website on a Friday evening and dig into their pockets only three weeks after Christmas to donate over $30,000 overnight?
A plea from Oprah? No.
Adam Lambert’s 29th birthday.
Grammy nominee Adam Lambert announced Jan. 14th on his official fan club, adamlambertfans.com, that he had joined up with charity:water, a young New York City based non-profit dedicated to bringing clean water to developing nations, to raise $29,000 by Jan. 29th for his 29th birthday. The announcement came at 7:05PM Eastern time. No press release. No PR photo op. He didn’t even tweet it to his 822,000+ Twitter followers or post it on Facebook for his 1,247,000+ friends. But word spread like wildfire anway.
You see, Adam’s fans pay attention. They wasted no time spreading the news, and tweets were fired off, texts sent, phone calls placed, and posts made on the many fan forums dedicated to Adam, including the one on his official site, adamofficial.com., run by his label, Sony/RCA. The money started coming in, not in a trickle, but in a deluge, and as the hours passed it became apparent that Adam wouldn’t have to wait until his Jan. 29th birthday to reach his goal. He would reach it in hours. In less than 6, to be exact. By 12:30AM the next morning the total donations had reached over $30,000. And it was inspiring to watch, as minute by minute, hour after hour, donations ranging from $1 to $1500 poured in, fans leaving messages of love, charity, and admiration for their idol, as well as many Happy Birthday messages. Yes, Adam got an early birthday present this year. A $30,000 present from his fans given to a charity they embraced simply because he did. Even the charity’s staff was astounded, Viktoria Harrison tweeting during the night,
“I can't believe how fast this happened. Wow, we're speechless at charity: water http://www.mycharitywater.org/adamlambert ”
At a time when good news has been in short supply, with tragedies like the recent shooting of Rep.Giffords and 18 others in Arizona, this little nugget of spontaneous love and good will comes as a quiet but welcome reminder that passion and love and heroes still exist.
Yes, Adam Lambert, like Oprah, is, in his small way, a hero. As evidenced by one night’s outpouring of compassion for those less fortunate on the heels of the holiday season in bad economic times, as we watch our leaders spew hate and blame and spite at one another publicly, Adam Lambert inspires love, peace, tolerance and generosity towards others. Many of those who donated probably didn’t feel inspired to give a red cent to a political candidate this past election cycle, yet when this simple singer, this new kid on the block with the lovely golden voice made a quiet unexpected and unheralded request on his fanclub, they flocked like ants to a pile of sugar, and in the blink of an eye, dug into their pockets to donate to a charity most had probably never heard of till Adam affiliated himself with it. And you have to wonder why that is.
Maybe Adam Lambert gives them something they are hungry for that our leaders, those we expect to be our heroes, have ceased to provide - hope for a better future.
Yeah, he has an amazing voice! But when was the last time
you saw someone reach into their wallets just after the holidays on a moment’s
notice to give to strangers simply because some singer with a great voice asked
them to? What is it about Adam Lambert that inspires this kind of spontaneous
outpouring of love? Very simply, like Oprah, Adam brings more love and hope
into the lives of those who take the time to really see him for who he is. And
love and hope is sorely lacking in our world today. It may sound cliché to say
so, but what the world needs now is love. While Daily Kos and Sarah Palin, two
sides of the same coin, are placing crosshairs and targets on their enemies and
calling for us to ready, aim, fire, Adam, like Oprah, in his oh so real,
imperfect, human way, is quietly paving a road built on love, calling us to a
place where we can hide from the crossfire and begin to build a community of
very much needed peace and mutual respect in our own lives. And he does that
while filling our ears with amazing vocal sounds and our eyes with colored
lazers and vibrant costumes and an amazingly entertaining musical experience. Adam
Lambert, whether he intended to or not, is helping motivate people to love and value
themselves and others and to spread love and good will far and wide in a way
religious and political leaders are miserably failing to do today. And love inspires more love, even great
generosity. And sometimes incredible loyalty. Just ask Oprah. It' seems she and Adam have more in common than sharing the same Jan. 29th birthday.
Though Adam found national fame through his stint as a contestant on Season 8 of American Idol, there are still many who only know Adam Lambert as the surly, coarse, angry, sexually over the top closing act of the American Music Awards way back in Nov. of 2009 and still ignorantly and stubbornly judge him by that one 3 minute performance in which he, interpreting a song, let loose in a blatant and unplanned display of homosexual sexuality on national network TV, unleashing a firestorm of controversy and complaints to the FCC. But there is much more to Adam than this one moment in time, and his fans have come to know him throughout the two years since he first auditioned for American Idol, and have come to love and admire him for the real multidimensional human being that he is. Through his music and lyrics, his interviews, his personal appearances, his concert tour performances, and his thousands of personal interactions with fans, as well as through the eyes of his family, friends and colleagues, Adam fans have embraced his personable down to earth persona, his intelligent, articulate and independent self expression, his open affectionate nature, his fierce individualism, his easy approachable manner, and especially his tenderness and understanding towards the underdogs, the weirdoes, the misfits of this world. He spreads a message to them to believe in yourself and your dreams, saying, for instance, in the lyric from "Aftermath", a song he co-wrote for his debut album, For Your Entertainment,
“anytime anybody pulls you down, anytime anybody says you’re not allowed, just remember, you are not alone, in the aftermath.”
In a world of increasing polarity, Adam brings a simple message of inclusivity -
"No matter how old you are, no matter who you sleep with, no matter what color your skin is, we can all party together."
Not a new message by any means, but one, it seems, many crave, yet is in short supply these days. And one that inspires love for, and loyalty to, the messenger.
And so, overnight, in less than 6 hours, Adam Lambert singlehandedly inspired an outpouring of love and generosity usually associated with the Oprahs of this world. With that kind of power to influence people, something tells me Adam’s future holds more than a singing career.
When Adam heard the news of the enormous overnight outpouring of love and generosity from his fans he was, according to the tweet from his friend, Lee Cherry, “blown away”. And in typical Glambert fashion, he responded by doing what he became known for on American Idol. He upped the bar, tweeting:
“Ok New goal: 290,000 by the 29th!!! Let's give people in need clean water!!!”
At the time of this publishing, exactly 24 hours after his announcement, Adam’s total donations for charity:water had reached over $52,000.
$290,000 by Jan. 29th? Could happen. Like I said, when Adam Lambert speaks, Adam fans pay attention.
Adam's charity:water campaign ends on April 18th. Donations can be made up till that date using the link below.
***For daily updates on how Adam's birthday campaign for charity water is doing, see my follow-up article "Doing It With Adam Lambert - Are You?"
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