On Tuesday, Miley Cyrus officially launched the Happy Hippie Foundation which focuses on helping homeless and LGBT youth.
To kick off the organization, Cyrus released her first of many “Backyard Sessions.” The Facebook exclusive music videos are performed straight from Miley’s backyard and feature collaborations with fellow recording artists such as Ariana Grande, Laura Jane Grace, and Joan Jett (which was released today). Each video will includes a link for fans to donate to the Happy Hippie Foundation.
In the first Backyard Sessions video, Joan Jett joins Miley to sing a rendition of Joan’s track “Different” from the 2013 LP Unvarnished.
“I think what Miley’s doing is wonderful and important to help people find their authentic selves,” Jett tells Rolling Stone about the Happy Hippie Foundation. “I’m proud to be a part of it.”
The “Wrecking Ball” singer created buzz last year by asking a homeless man to accept her award for Video of the Year at the 2014 Video Music Awards. Cyrus said she was inspired by the attention given to that gesture. 40 percent of the 1.6 million homeless youths in the United States identify as LGBT, Miley states on the organization’s website.
“When you have all eyes on you, what are you saying? And that’s what I had to ask myself a lot,” Miley said in a statement. “It’s like, I know you’re going to look at me more if my breasts are out, so look at me. And then I’m going to tell you about my foundation for an hour and totally hustle you.”
Miley plans to focus on improving the lives of the homeless and LGBT youth specifically for at least five years before expanding her scope to other issues she feels passionately about.
“It’s not going to be an overnight process,” she said. “You’ve got to get into a lot of people’s brains and you’ve got to really make this a topic.”
Miley as a role model to LGBT youth seems almost perfect! The starlet has spent the few years in the limelight doing nothing but being herself. Recently, Miley posed on Instagram with her armpit hair dyed pink, which she refers to as a message to be yourself.
“The pink pits are saying, ‘Don’t tell me what to do,'” Miley said. “It’s back to what I’m preaching in a way, you know, telling these kids. I’m not just saying you be yourself and I’m going to go be Miley Cyrus. I’m saying I’m going to be my (expletive) self, too.”
The 22-year-old musician spoke of her Backyard Session collaboration with Joan Jett in April when she inducted Joan into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
“I do want to say one final story about when I knew that I loved Joan so fucking much,” Cyrus said. “And this shit kind of fucks me up because it’s the day that she was dedicating her time to an upcoming project for my foundation, supporting the LGBT homeless youth. She was running around our backyard. She was with my dogs, playing with my pig, and I played the Tibetan bowls for her at sunset.”
The Happy Hippie Foundation will create digital support groups for LGBT youth and their families and funds will also aid My Friend’s Place, a center for homeless youth in Hollywood.
Make donations and learn more about Happy Hippie Foundation here!Note: Populove is currently undergoing site maintenance following a hiatus. Some post images and comments from previous months may not appear as we work on the issue.