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Taylor Swift benefit concert raises more than $750,000 for tornado victims

May 23, 2011 |  3:43 pm

Taylor Swift 5-21-2011 Nashville Christie Goodwin 
Taylor Swift’s concert Saturday in Nashville drew more than 13,000 people and raised more than  $750,000 for victims of recent tornadoes in the South. 

Swift donated proceeds from ticket sales, merchandise and other facets of the show, which she transformed into a benefit from what was to have been the final dress rehearsal for the North American leg of her Speak Now tour. The tour opens Friday in Omaha, Neb., and reaches Los Angeles in August for four sold-out shows at Staples Center.

“I’ve never opened a rehearsal to the public before,” Swift said in a note posted on her website, “but I felt that inviting my fans to the last rehearsal for the Speak Now Tour would be a great way to raise money.”  She also streamed performances of two songs during the show -- “Mine” and “The Story of Us” -- with information on donating to the Speak Now Help Now fund she set up for the event, in conjunction with the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

Here's some footage of Swift giving background on the event and some highlights from the show:

 

On Sunday night, Swift collected three trophies at the Billboard Music Awards ceremony in Las Vegas: the Top 200 Albums Artists Award, signifying her as 2010’s bestselling album artist in all genres, and top country artist and top country album for “Speak Now.” 

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-- Randy Lewis

Photo of Taylor Swift during a benefit concert for tornado victims Saturday in Nashville. Credit:
Christie Goodwin.

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