Since 2008, the Stand Up to Cancer program has raised hundreds of millions of dollars thanks to its star-studded annual TV special, which is broadcast on all four major networks in addition to dozens of cable networks. This year’s SU2C special in Los Angeles aired September 5th and featured performances by the Who, Dave Matthews, Ariana Grande, and Lupe Fiasco with Common and Jennifer Hudson.
The Who have done their part in the fight against cancer as Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend founded Teen Cancer America (TCA) in 2012. “TCA has recognized that teens and young adults get cancer too and there were no places in hospitals where this age group can mix with each other,” Daltrey said in a statement. “If children have nurseries with teddy bears, and adults are provided for then it’s surely right that this age group have suitably equipped treatment.” The first TCA center opened in the UCLA Medical Center in 2012. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will house a TCA outpatient facility starting in 2015, and 25 more hospitals nationwide have expressed interest in Daltrey and Townshend’s TCA centers.
Dave Grohl, who has worked with TCA in the past, introduced the Who on the SU2C special. “Teen Cancer America recognized that teens get cancer and they need their own centers and hospitals where they can hang with each other and share what’s going on,” Grohl said. “In Great Britain, they’ve been doing this for the past 25 years and it’s working. Teens feel better, it helps their wellbeing, and their ability to fight their cancer. Let’s face it: Teenagers are unique and that’s why they love good, honest, loud rock n’ roll.” And with that, Grohl threw it over to London, where the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band performed a medley of “Baba O’Riley” and Tommy‘s “See Me, Feel Me.”
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Earlier in the evening, Dave Matthews took the stage to perform a stripped-down version of his Away From the World cut “Mercy.” Ariana Grande also contributed a heartfelt rendition of “My Everything,” the title track off her Billboard 200-topping album. The performance was especially emotional for the young singer: Her grandfather recently passed away following a bout with cancer. “Sobbed my eyes out as soon as I got back. idk how he was just here & now he’s not & I’m singing a song in his honor. sucks a lot #fuckcancer,” Grande tweeted following her SU2C performance.
Lupe Fiasco, Common and Jennifer Hudson closed out the benefit special by performing their new song “Remission,” which the trio recorded especially for the Stand Up To Cancer organization. You can watch the entire Stand Up to Cancer telecast on YouTube. To contribute to this worthy cause, visit the SU2C site.