You should never underestimate the power of music — or musicians.
Claire — a once-suicidal, teenage fan of Kendrick Lamar — had her wildest dream come true on Sunday, May 31, at the Sweetlife Festival, where she not only got to see the man she credits with saving her life perform live, but also got to go backstage and share her story with the 27-year-old rapper.
(Photo Credit: MTV News/Adam Fleischer)
The rapper explains how he ended up inviting her onstage.
“I’m at the end of the show, and I see this young lady crying, and I’m thinking, she must be really going through something right now,” Kendrick tells MTV News.
“Then I start hearing her murmur with her lips, ‘You saved my life.’ So I’m like, damn, this is serious…she came to see the person that actually helped her get through her life, through music. Then she said, ‘I was gonna kill myself last year.’ So I said, at that point, I gotta bring her up onstage and show her some love and let her know this is real.”
The Compton, Calif. native has been open about his struggles with depression and suicide, and has shared a lot of his feelings on the topics in his music.
The 16-year-old fan says his music helped her after she was diagnosed with severe depression last year. She says she “couldn’t have done it without him.”
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She explains to MTV News, “I listened to his music over and over and there were nights where I thought I was going to end it all, and I didn’t, and I think that’s because his words impacted me in a way that no other artist has ever done. I can’t thank him enough.”
Of course, she didn’t think she’d actually ever be able to express her gratitude in person — but he made sure to make it happen.
“[I wanted to] bring her backstage and let her tell her story,” he says.
“Let her know, it’s more than just me bringing you onstage — I actually feel you. Because that’s why I do my music. And every time I see something like that, it reminds me why I do what I do. It was just crazy. She came back here, we signed some stuff for her, talked to her for a little bit, and told her to keep going.”
Just as Kendrick’s music helped Claire, hearing her story affected the Grammy winner — and reminded him of how important what he’s doing is. And the teen feels grateful she got the chance to remind him of his power.
“I never thought I really would [meet him], but I guess miracles happen,” Claire says.
“I think the main reason I wanted to meet him was to thank him. Because he should know his music has the power to impact a person’s entire existence.”