miley cyrus and joan jett sing a duet for america's homeless youth

The pop star’s Happy Hippie Foundation already has initiatives in California, but hopes to roll out globally.

by Nick Levine
06 May 2015, 2:10pm

Miley Cyrus was an advocate for LGBT rights long before she rode a wrecking ball. In 2011, she had an equals sign tattooed on her ring finger to show her support for gay marriage in the US. She's also used her star power to shine a spotlight on the issues faced by America's homeless youth, famously sending a young homeless man named Jesse Helt to collect her trophy at last year's MTV VMAs. Now she's dedicated herself to both causes by launching The Happy Hippie Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is "to rally young people to fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBT youth and other vulnerable populations."

On its website, The Happy Hippie Foundation acknowledges the link between homelessness and the struggle for LGBT acceptance in the US: of America's 1.6 million homeless young people, 40% identify as LGBT. The organization pledges to reduce these numbers by "supporting strategic programs that focus on prevention, immediate needs and awareness." It has already started initiatives in Los Angeles, San Francisco and the Bay Area, and during an interview on Good Morning, America yesterday, Cyrus revealed that she eventually hopes to roll out its work globally.

Cyrus officially launched The Happy Hippie Foundation yesterday by resurrecting the Backyard Sessions, a series of live performances from the grounds of her Los Angeles home, with a very special duet. Cyrus and rock icon Joan Jett teamed up for a rendition of Different, an outsider's anthem from Jett's 2013 album Unvarnished that encourages us to "break a mold" and "live outside the box." Further Backyard Sessions featuring artists as diverse as Ariana Grande, veteran folk singer Melanie Safka and the transgender singer Laura Jane Grace from punk band Against Me! are promised to continue publicizing The Happy Hippie Foundation's good work.

LGBT rights
Miley Cyrus
Happy Hippie Foundation