The Norman Transcript

N-town stories

July 5, 2013

Oklahoma art benefits storm victims

NORMAN — In the wake of a violent central Oklahoma spring that killed 48 and left many injured, homeless or desperate, Oklahoma artists are uniting to restore hope.

Despite the scars that still dot the state’s landscape, these artists are using their various mediums to help tornado victims put the pieces back together emotionally, financially and physically.

Star-studded benefit concerts

For country star Toby Keith the May 20 Moore tornado struck a little too close to home. The Norman resident and Moore native didn’t hesitate in assembling some of his most talented peers to host a relief concert.

“I know these folks and they’re resilient, but we’re going to keep helping them any way we can,” he said. “I’m proud to get together with some others from around here who are just as committed as I am to supporting these communities.”

Tickets went on sale June 21 for Keith’s Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert scheduled for 3 p.m. July 6 at the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman. And with a lineup including Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Willie Nelson, Sammy Hagar, Ronnie Dunn, Krystal Keith, Mel Tillis and John Anderson as well as Carrie Underwood via satellite from the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, it’s no wonder the concert sold out within the hour.

It wasn’t long after Brooks heard news of a tornado hitting Keith’s hometown that he and his wife, Yearwood, volunteered their talents.

“I am amazed at the human spirit the tornado victims have shown,” Brooks said. “I am humbled by the giving of the volunteers. It is an honor to get to be a part of this healing process.”

Hagar said joining the lineup for the concert was a no-brainer.

“He’s put together a hell of a concert lineup to help raise funds for the brave and resilient people of Oklahoma,” Hagar said. “My job is going to be to help them take their minds off their problems and have some much needed, good old-fashioned fun.”

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