Michael Jackson's Back-Up Singer, Biola University Team Up for Japan
Biola University and half-Japanese singer Judith Hill, who performed at Michael Jackson's memorial services, will team up Thursday for a benefit concert for Japan earthquake victims.
Hill, an alumna of the southern California Christian school, had already planned on performing at the free concert to celebrate Women's History month. But she decided to refocus the concert to raise funds for Japan upon hearing news that the country her mother was born in was devastated by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis. Hill's father is African-American.
The R&B singer shared with The Christian Post on Tuesday, "A lot of people reached out to me and showed their concern for my family. I'm a big part of the Japanese community and it's really hard for me because emotionally it's really close to home so this is different from any other charity benefit disaster situations that have happened. I'm very much involved in doing anything I can to help the community."
The main theme song for the concert is titled, "For My Sister," which she collaborated on with Japanese pop artist "Ai." She plans to sing portions of the song in Japanese with the purpose of honoring the people in Japan.
The main verses in the song are, "When you need a helpin' hand, I'll be there for my sister … and it doesn't matter where you are. You can never be too far. I'll be there for my sister."
Although Hill's music is not overtly Christian, her faith in Jesus Christ is infused in her lyrics, she said.
"Being a Christian should influence every aspect of our lives. We take our faith wherever we go, whether we are working at a store or driving," Hill said in the interview. "For me, music is probably the main thing I do in life and my faith in Christ always comes up in lyrics and my overall worldview.
"When I write messages of hope, love, relationships, struggles, pain, there is an underlining message of hope in Christ and I think that is what drives the hope in my life and I take that wherever I go."
Hill highlighted that although financial donation is a great help to Japan at the moment, she believes that music can also help to comfort survivors of the March 11 quake and tsunami.
As someone who grew up in a musical family, Hill personally attested to music having a huge impact in her life. Hill grew up playing the piano and singing, which not only led to her composing, playing and singing her own songs later in life, but also sharing the stage with world renowned musicians such as Michael Jackson and Elton John.
Hill sang alongside the "King of Pop" Michael Jackson in the 2009 hit movie "This Is It."
She concluded with a message to Japan and to Japanese people in the United States.
"My message to Japan is to know that God loves them and that the whole world is keeping them in their thoughts and prayer and to stay encouraged knowing that they will get through this difficult time," said Hill. "We all love them and my mind hasn't gotten off the subject ever since it happened."
She also urged Japanese Americans to pray for Japanese families affected by the disasters.
Hill graduated from Biola University in 2005 with a degree in music composition. After graduating, she toured with French pop star Michel Polnareff. Then in 2009, she was selected as one of Michael Jackson's back up singers for his planned comeback tour "This Is It."