R&B singer Khalid is planning a benefit concert to support the families of those killed in the El Paso massacre at the weekend.
In response to news that a gunman had killed 20 people in a superstore shooting spree in his former hometown, Khalid said his “mind and heart” were heavy.
On Twitter he wrote: “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.”
He then revealed plans to hold a benefit concert in El Paso later this month.
“Over the past few days, I’ve been thinking of ways to help out and support the city,” he wrote. “I’m planning for a benefit concert later this month, all of the proceeds will go to the families affected by the shooting. Sending everyone my love and will keep you guys updated.”
Khalid had a peripatetic childhood as his mother – a passionate singer, who decided to forgo a music career to earn a stable living for her family – was in the Army.
After stints living in Germany, New York and Georgia, the family moved to El Paso where Khalid started junior high school and started to embrace his musical ambitions.
“When I moved to El Paso, that was when I knew I stood out,” he said.
“I came into this new school and I said I was a singer, everyone was like ‘you sing, and you’re not doing anything with it?’. That motivated me.”
Even though his hair, clothes and interests [singing and musical theatre] set him apart from his Texan classmates, Khalid still developed a network of friends who supported his burgeoning career. In fact, Khalid describes El Paso has his “birthplace creatively”.
By the time he graduated from Americas High School, Khalid had already notched up his first hit with Location. A year later, in 2017, he won a Grammy for his debut album American Teen. He’s since gone on to collaborate with Ed Sheeran, Billie Eilish and Marshmello.
Khalid now resides in LA, but is considered a hero in El Paso and was presented with the keys to the city in 2018.