Playing It Forward Combines Music and Charity Into a Win for All

Playing It Forward  John Legend

Combine surprise concerts by well-known musicians with donations to charities that deal with children’s issues (education, etc), and you have the exciting new concept known as Playing It Forward.

Many know Robert Downey Jr as an actor, but he is also a talented musician, whose interests in music were nurtured in school. Together with his wife, Susan, via their production company Team Downey, they have partnered with Crackle, the multi-platform entertainment network, to organize these impromptu concerts that benefit charities of the participating artist’s choosing.

Playing It Forward  John Legend

Presented by FedEx, the first artist to participate was John Legend, who set up with a piano at the Culver City Town Plaza in Los Angeles. Last minute social media clues were the only advance notice given that this concert was going to happen. The Grammy Award-winning artist performed three fan favorites, “All of Me,” “Ordinary People,” and “Shine” to an unsuspecting and amazed crowd.

For being a part of this, a donation of $100,000 was made to Legend’s charity, the Show Me Campaign, which works to break the cycle of poverty by giving children access to quality education through the promotion of scalable, proven solutions and programs.

How freaking cool is that? I love this idea for so many reasons.

First, I am a music geek. I took every choir class I could in school – over 8 years of training. I don’t know how I would’ve even made it through high school without having music as a creative outlet. So for this project to help so many others find themselves through music is awesome.

Second, I love the whole surprise aspect to it. The idea of just happening upon a concert like this is exciting. This isn’t like a normal show where you plan for it, dress up, and make a night of it. This is a “Holy crap! That’s John Legend playing over there!” experience.

And finally, I’ve been a big fan of Robert Downey Jr’s artistic talents, both on screen and musically, for almost 30 years, and I love, love, love that he would use his energy, creativity, and finances to back a project like this.

Playing It Forward

You can watch the Playing It Forward concert featuring John Legend, with an introduction from Downey, at Unfortunately, they don’t allow embedding of the video, so you’ll have to click the link to see it.

Additional unexpected performances from “Playing it Forward” will be announced at a later date. Fans can get more details and uncover clues to the next performance by visiting the website above and by following Crackle on Facebook and Twitter.

What are your thoughts on this? Leave a comment, or better yet, spread the word on this project to people you know.

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About zengrrl

I'm Michelle Snow, the writer and creator of Zengrrl. I write about travel, entertainment, women's issues, health, body positivity, and more, both for this blog and freelance. I have also authored/co-authored four guidebooks on Orlando and Florida. If you aren't already following me, the links are below, as well as on the top right of this page. Thanks!

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