Warner Bros. artist Faith Hill has followed up her Nashville Rising flood benefit with an appearance Tuesday night (8/24) in New Orleans to benefit victims of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. The singer performed a free concert at the Mahalia Jackson Theater.
“We are here for you still and you are not forgotten,” Hill said. “I feel like it’s my responsibility to give back. When you’ve been given so much, it’s only right that I do what I can to help, if I can.”
Hill said the concert was intended to celebrate how far the Gulf Coast has come since 2005, when Katrina flooded New Orleans and surrounding areas of Louisiana and Mississippi.
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band served as opening act for the concert, and about 2,200 tickets were distributed in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette and the Mississippi cities of Biloxi and Jackson.
Hill opened the show with her hits “Free” and “Wild One” before bringing the New Orleans-based Dirty Dozen Brass Band back on stage to join her on “There Will Come A Day.”
“This city inspires great music and sometimes when I get together with my band I never know what will happen,” Hill said. “We want you to just sit back and forget about it all and just have a great time”
“She brought all these people here,” said Lola Russell, a paramedic from New Orleans. “They’ll probably get a room tonight, go out after the concert and pour even more money into our economy. That can’t do anything but help the city’s recovery.”
Hill’s husband, country star Tim McGraw, is a Louisiana native and both are veterans of employing celebrity clout to help raise money or awareness for causes. The couple helped organize the Nashville Rising benefit for Nashville after the city was flooded in early May.
“Sometimes, with celebrity, you can make things happen pretty easily,” said Hill. “My message is, ‘Come to New Orleans and experience this great city.’ Yes, there are places that are still rebuilding and are not quite back yet, but when they do come back, they’ll come back better.”