Taylor Swift Has Given Grief a Voice

Most Popular

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Most Popular

Who: Taylor Swift, Philanthropist

Day Job: Singer-songwriter.

Passion Project: Several years ago, Taylor Swift stumbled onto a blog by Maya Thompson, a mother in Phoenix, documenting the life and death of her son Ronan, who had the childhood cancer neuroblastoma. "It absolutely devastated me," recalls the 24-year-old. "She had to watch her 3-year-old die and was able to do nothing about it. I woke up in the middle of the night with a verse about his story."

Hit Parade: Swift's hit song "Ronan" is heartbreakingly beautiful—a gift to Thompson and all grieving parents—and, because Swift chose to donate her royalties to cancer charities, an important fundraising vehicle. It was also the spark that prompted Swift to devote herself to a head-spinning array of causes.

Proof Positive: She's given well over a million dollars to disaster-relief efforts and $4 million to create a music-education center at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, which gives children a chance to try out musical instruments, often for the first time. (When the center was low on guitars, she dropped by with 13.)

Extra Credit: Swift engages in acts of everyday kindness you can't put a price on. She makes frequent, impromptu visits to children's hospitals on tour, spending hours talking with patients about music and life and love. "It makes me feel like I'm contributing to this world that has given me so much, but has taken so much from other people," she says. "Acknowledging that is important to me."

Get Involved: CountryMusicHallofFame.com

Related: 19 Other Women Who Are Changing the World

Photo via Peter Hapak

Jessica Jones on Netflix
Culture
Share
Netflix Can Predict Exactly What You'll Click On—and Why
They know you better than you know yourself. Creepy.
Culture
Share
"You Physically Cannot Get Out of Bed": Ally Hilfiger Opens Up About Her Battle with Lyme Disease
Ally Hilfiger's hellish journey to a Lyme Disease diagnosis
Hamilton on Broadway
Culture
Share
'Hamilton' Set to Clean Up at the Tonys with a Record-Breaking 16 Nominations
See the full list of nominations nominations for Broadway's biggest night.
Culture
Share
All the Must-See Looks from the 2016 Met Gala Red Carpet
Prepare yourselves.
Culture
Share
This Snapchat Love Story Just Took Missed Connections to a Whole New Level
​We were riveted. ​
Culture
Share
Why Lesbian History Needs to Go Digital
The founder of the popular Instagram @h_e_r_s_t_o_r_y sets the record straight.​
Misty Copeland Barbie
Culture
Share
Misty Copeland Now Has Her Own Equally Fabulous Barbie Doll
The doll can even pose en pointe, too.
Culture
Share
Meet the 21 Badass Women Changing the Food World as We Know It
The James Beard Foundation's 2016 female nominees are forces of nature.
Culture
Share
Please Don't Sit on My Bed in Your Clothes
Just think about where your clothes have been.​
Tarot Cards
Culture
Share
Your Weekly Tarot Reading
​Here's what's in the cards for you the week of May 2.​