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Avicii Battles Hunger with House Music, Pledges $1 Million Donation, on Charity Tour

Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 13:01

Avicii

EJ Media Group

Avicii has pledged $1 million to fight hunger in the United States


At 22, Swedish DJ, remixer and producer Avicii has accomplished more in his career than most artists do in a lifetime.

The young prodigy, born Tim Berg, emerged in 2008 and churned out a string of club hits, including "Seek Bromance", "Fade Into the Darkness" and his latest chart-topper, "Levels," most recently sampled in Flo Rida's "Good Feeling."

Now, riding the success of his hit tracks, the young DJ is using his wide reach to help others.

On January 5th, Berg kicked-off the 2012 House For Hunger Tour, a 26-show, 27-day tour that kicked off in Detroit, Michigan and will snake through many cities in the US that have never hosted an Avicii performance before. Prior to the tour, Berg and his manager and executive producer Arash "Ash" Pournouri announced their commitment to donate 1 million dollars of tour proceeds to Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger-relief organization, comprised of more than 200 member food banks across the country.

"We get approached all the time to do charity work from different organizations," Pournouri said. "I wasn't comfortable doing a charity event where we weren't in control of where the proceeds were going to."

Pournouri wanted to make sure that they did a charity event on their own terms and had full control over where the money actually went. Then he came across Feeding America and proposed the idea to Berg.

"When Ash first approached me with the idea, I was blown away that a country like America suffered from those issues," Berg said. "When I heard that, I thought it was the perfect cause and it was something that I really wanted to be a part of."

Berg, a Stockholm native, said he decided to launch House For Hunger in the US for several reasons.

"It feels right to kick this off in the US," Berg said. "Seeing how many amazing experiences and opportunities America has given me the past two years, as well as the support I've gotten from my fans here," he added. "I feel very fortunate to be in a position where I actually can help and make a difference, especially to a country that's given me so much."

Because of the success Berg has had in America, hunger is not something with which he is intimately familiar. Still, he said, others aren't so fortunate. "Hunger hits everywhere and the US is not immune to it."

According to Feeding America spokeswoman Shannon Traeger, nearly 49 million Americans, including more than 16 million children, are struggling with hunger. One in six Americans is at the risk of hunger. For children, the ratio is 1 in 5. Feeding America feeds 5.7 million Americans through their network of food banks every week.

The charity's large scope made it the ideal cause for the Berg and Pournouri, who wanted to do a full American tour to spread awareness further. "We wanted to do as many feasible markets as possible," Pournouri said. "Feeding America exists in one shape or form in all of those markets."

Feeding America's food banks secure and distribute 3 billion pounds of donated food and grocery products annually through a network of approximately 61,000 food assistance agencies, such as food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters and after-school programs.

"This generous donation from Avicii and Ash comes at a time when we are experiencing a tremendous need for our services," Traeger said. "This donation will greatly help the nearly 49 million Americans at risk of hunger. Feeding America is incredibly grateful to the House for Hunger tour for sharing our vision for a hunger-free America."

The message throughout the whole tour will be pretty clear; hunger is a highly overlooked epidemic in the United States. But Berg and Pournouri, together with Feeding America, want to change that.

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