CARSON, Calif. - It was a weekend to remember for a group of LAUSD students as they got a chance to rock out with some of the biggest names in the music world.
Like many of the fully-vaccinated concertgoers who sat at SoFi Stadium, Sunday's show -- which was taped to go on-air next weekend on FOX 11 -- was the first concert the students had attended in more than a year.
Rocking out on electric bass, Orville Wright seventh-grader Ajanai Campbell was among the 250 students who shared the global stage with Grammy and Oscar-winner H.E.R.
"I don't know how to explain it," Ajanai said. "It was just so awesome being able to see somebody as big as H.E.R. I felt like a professional superstar."
H.E.R., a Bay Area native whose real name is Gabi Wilson, made this happen for these kids in SoCal and donated to the Fender Play program that gives students free instruments and music lessons, launched last June.
"Music is a language that everybody speaks and it’s always been there for me when nobody was and for me, it’s an outlet for me to express and talk about what I am feeling and I think everybody deserves that opportunity, you know what I mean," Wilson said. "And music is one of those things."
"In the midst of a global pandemic, we knew that children more than ever would need to find a way to connect with one another," said LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner. "I reached out to Fender and they answered the call to serve."
LAUSD arts education director Steven McCarthy was happy to see the students soak in the unforgettable experience.
"Being able to offer this to students like Ajanai, I’ve got the best job in the world. 7:27 the students with radiated with joy from it," McCarthy said.
The show featuring Wilson is part of Global Citizen’s VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World.
The event was taped Sunday, and will air globally on May 8 to encourage worldwide COVID-19 vaccine efforts, especially during India’s devastating battle with a second wave.
"We must look beyond ourselves with empathy and compassion for those we know and those we don’t. We need to lift up all of humanity and make sure that no personal community is left behind. What we do in this moment will stand in history," said Prince Harry during the event.
Prince Harry who chairs the event says just as the virus doesn’t respect borders, neither should the vaccine.
It’s a call for vaccine equity in an event led by global leaders with some of the biggest names in entertainment, and some well on their way.
"She has definitely inspired me," Ajanai said. "Seeing her live like that 3:55 shows me I can do anything with my music and I can reach to her point and even more."
Superintendent Beutner announced Monday that the district is expanding the Fender Play program that provides kids free music lessons and instruments from helping 5,000 to 10,000 students -- with the goal of providing the opportunity to every student.