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El Paso Native Khalid Plans Benefit Concert for Shooting Victims and Families

Artist Khalid circa October 2017. Video the still is taken from is licensed under creative commons. Date: 20 October 2017.

“Hearing/seeing an act of terrorism happen so close to home, my family, and my friends has been unbelievable and shocking. Singing ‘915′ and ‘city of El Paso’ on tour every night feels indescribable.”

Grammy-nominated R&B singer Khalid announced that he will play a benefit concert in his hometown to benefit the victims of Saturday’s fatal mass shooting in El Paso, Texas.

Twenty-two people were killed and more than two dozen injured in the attack that took place at a Walmart. It was also one of three major mass shootings across the United States in the span of just one week.

“Hearing/seeing an act of terrorism happen so close to home, my family, and my friends has been unbelievable and shocking,” the 21-year-old “Location” singer tweeted on Monday. “Singing ‘915′ and ‘city of El Paso’ on tour every night feels indescribable.”

Khalid explained that he’d been thinking of ways to help and support his hometown—ultimately deciding to play a benefit concert there, later this month. All proceeds will go to the families affected by the shooting.

Khalid is one of the most-streamed artists in Spotify’s history. Along with his albums “American Teen” and “Free Spirit,” he has also appeared on several songs last year with artists including Billie Eilish and Halsey. Khalid also collaborated with Shawn Mendes, performing the song “Youth” at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards as a tribute to the victims of gun violence, featuring the show choir from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which had experienced a mass shooting that year.

Growing up in a military family, Khalid moved frequently and arrived in El Paso before his senior year in high school. He has been vocal about his love and pride for the city in the past.

“I didn’t feel like I had a home until I moved to El Paso,” he told USA Today in 2017. “The love and the friendships I made were influential. El Paso is where I started. I don’t feel like I’d be making the music I’m making now if I hadn’t gone there.”

El Paso stands along the Rio Grande river on the Mexico–United States border and has a metropolitan area population of 840,758. In 2010 and 2018, El Paso received an All-America City Award. The city also ranked in the top three safest large cities in the United States between 1997 and 2014 and held the title of safest city between 2011 and 2014.

Tragically, reports revealed that the gunman, Patrick Crusius, specifically targeted El Paso for its high concentration of Hispanic citizens. He travelled 650 miles to the city from Allen, Texas to commit his crime. He is in police custody now on capital murder charges.

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