Sweeping crescendos and booming vocals underscore the strength and resilience of Houstonians in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
Bill Withers’ 1972 classic “Lean on Me” has become an anthem for many to keep their chins up during difficult times. Frequently played at benefit concerts, the song was notably performed by Keith Urban, Sheryl Crow, and Kid Rock at the Hope for Haiti earthquake relief telethon in 2010. In August, 700+ Charlottesville teachers came together to sing the tune in solidarity. These past few weeks, the original Withers version has appeared as the track on a new Walmart television commercial to raise money for Hurricane Harvey victims.
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Now, as Houston unites to move forward in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the song is continuing to spread its uplifting joy. On Tuesday, September 5th, Victoria White, Marquist Taylor and their Houston gospel choir took to the stage on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to sing a moving rendition of "Lean on Me."
"Last week we saw the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey on the state of Texas,'' Fallon said before the performance. "But in the face of this tragedy, we saw good. We saw communities banding together. Neighbors helping neighbors. Strangers helping strangers. So many heroes.” Fallon also shared that The Tonight Show will be donating $1 million to J.J. Watt’s Hurricane Harvey efforts. Watch below.
If White’s flurry of gorgeous notes and passionate trills sound familiar, you may not be mistaken. On August 29th, White and Taylor led an impromptu performance of Gospel song "Spirit Break Out" at a Houston-area hurricane shelter that has since gone viral, racking up 21 million views on Facebook and counting. If bringing a smile to 21 million people’s faces isn’t a testament to the power of music, we don’t know what is.