Blake Shelton and Usher. These two artists have made their names big in their respective genres and their duet will certainly give everyone in attendance a world-class performance. But other than delighting fans, their collab was done for a noble cause.
Oklahoma in Ruins
On May 20, 2013, a devastating tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma. An EF5 Twister, the most devastating on the Fujita Scale, ripped houses, schools, and businesses into pieces. Max Broderick, a survivor of the devastating phenomena, remembered how he and his family ran to safety. He ran through fences, drove through fields, and over curbs just to get his family away from the tornado. A total of 24 people were killed and several others injured. Many families were left homeless and their properties irreparable.
The destructive effects of the tornado struck Blake Shelton who was born and raised in Oklahoma. The country music star also said that he has a family who lived in close proximity to the hard-hit areas. This prompted Blake Shelton to launch a benefit concert that would help raise funds for the victims of the tornado. Usher, his then fellow judge for The Voice, volunteered to be part of the event as his younger sister, Ashira, also resides in Oklahoma.
“Healing in the Heartland”
To help the tornado victims, Blake Shelton and other stars in the music industry organized a benefit which they called, “Healing in the Heartland.” The said concert raised more than $6 million from all the combined ticket sales and pledges for the one-hour televised event. The proceeds of the event all went to the United Way of Central Oklahoma and the May Tornadoes Relief Fund.
Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts, Vince Gill, Darius Rucker, Luke Bryan, and One Direction’s Ryan Tedder all performed in the concert. Miranda Lambert’s emotional singing of her hit song “The House That Built Me” has been among the most moving act. In the middle of her performance, Lambert broke down, so she turned the mic to the audience who were more than willing to help.
Blake Shelton and Usher
Besides Lambert’s, one of the most loved and talked about performance during that night was Blake Shelton and Usher’s. Their duet was something that you might have never thought of seeing. Their rendition of Michael Bubble’s hit song “Home” had those who were listening live in the arena including those watching through their TVs in a ball of mixed emotions.
“Home” was written by Buble with co-writers, Alan Chang and Amy Foster-Gillies. It was a part of Buble’s album “It’s Time” and was released in March 2005. The song was a massive success and it peaked at the number one spot of the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart.
Blake Shelton loves the song so much that he did his own cover for it and released in February 2008. It was included in the re-issue of his 2007 album, Pure BS. By July 2008, Shelton’s amazing, heartfelt rendition of the song climbed to the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs.
The performance of Blake Shelton and Usher started with Shelton playing the guitar and singing solo the first couple of verses. Usher made his grand entrance right on time for the chorus of the song. He sat beside Shelton, and through their own distinctive ways, finished the rest of the song in an amazing fashion.
Shelton thanked the crowd for their support and opened the invitation for those who still wanted to donate and help. He ended his talk with a short message for the people of Oklahoma.
“To the people of Oklahoma, you’re in our hearts.
Blake Shelton has been consistently helping out whenever calamities like this happened to Oklahoma. In fact, in 2011, when another devastating tornado struck Tulsa, Blake said that his house was just a mile and a half away from where the tornado originated. He also said that because of his curiosity from what he heard from the local firemen and the television reports, he went out of his house to his drive way and he saw first-hand how the tornado was formed and how it changed its direction and pace. This led to Blake organizing another benefit concert now with Reba McEntire.