Kem homeless benefit concert draws 50,000 | News

Kem Owens‘ road to R&B stardom was a rocky one. The Nashville-born, Detroit-raised crooner battled addiction and homelessness for years before making it big, and he has never forgotten that dark place from which he came.

To prove this point, the two-time Grammy nominee held a concert in Detroit Sunday afternoon to benefit the city’s homeless population.

Titled “Mack & Third Live: A Call to Service” after the location of the rescue mission at which Kem found spirituality and sobriety, the concert drew more than 50,000 attendees to Cass Park — a place Kem often hung out while going through his trials.

“I used to walk through this park to go downtown, so you have to understand why I go to this place for the show,” he told the Detroit News.

Before the concert even began, Kem participated in the “Meal and a Message” program, at which the city’s homeless were served food and an encouraging word from the singer. They were also offered medical and dental screenings and given toiletry kits. Concert attendees were asked to donate canned goods or money, all of which will benefit the homeless community.

The entire day was an expression of Kem’s belief that generosity is one of the keys to a better existence.

“I’ve learned that giving is the foundation of living an abundant life,” he said. “When your hand is closed not only can you not give anything, but you can’t receive anything.”

The Mack & Third Live event is now in its third year. For more information on or to donate to the Mack & Third nonprofit organization, visit www.MackandThird.org.