Dermot Kennedy celebrated the holiday season with charitable performances in both the U.S. and his native Ireland. The acclaimed singer/songwriter took to the streets of New York City and an arena in Ireland respectively in the same week to raise money for multiple important causes including MusiCares, Pieta and Focus Ireland, resulting in a near combined total of $300,000 raised. It is a fitting way for the platinum-selling Kennedy to pay it forward at the holidays, coming full circle from where he got his start busking on the streets of Dublin.
On December 11th, Kennedy surprised fans with an impromptu busking event in the heart of New York City at Washington Square Park to benefit MusiCares. Playing a no-frills solo acoustic set that was livestreamed on his Instagram and TikTok, Dermot thrilled the crowd of hundreds who turned out to watch his inspired set. A highlight was his latest single, “Better Days,” which fittingly delivers a rousing message of hope with the promise of a new year ahead following the darkness of the pandemic. MusiCares, the leading music charity, offers preventive, emergency, and recovery programs, and acts as a safety net for supporting the health and welfare of the music community. Founded by the Recording Academy in 1989 as a U.S. based 501(c)(3) charity, MusiCares safeguards the well-being of all music people through direct financial grant programs, networks of support resources, and tailored crisis relief efforts.
Following his stop in New York City, Dermot made a triumphant return to Dublin where he performed two seated performances per night on December 13 & 14 at the 3Arena. The shows were to benefit Pieta, a nonprofit organization with suicide and self-harm crisis centers and locations across Ireland, and Focus Ireland, a nonprofit organization working to end homelessness.
Dermot took to social media to comment on the experiences. Of New York City he said, “One of my favorite things I’ve ever done in my life…. It was a beautiful energy. My first time playing in the street in about 8 years. It was never like this though….” Of the Dublin shows he shared they were “the most fulfilling thing I’ve done in my career yet… So much love that I cannot get into a caption.”
“Better Days,” out now on Interscope Records, has been having a viral moment, trending on TikTok with over 250,000 creates on the platform. The track was co-written by Dermot and Grammy-nominated Scott Harris (Shawn Mendes), ROMANS (Lewis Capaldi, Khalid), Daniel Nigro (Olivia Rodrigo “drivers license”) and previous collaborator Carey Willetts, with production by Nigro. Since its release it has amassed over 100 million streams, while the official music video directed by Paul Gore (Jennifer Lopez, Massive Attack) has over 8 million views watch it HERE.
2022 will be a significant one for Dermot. With new music on the horizon, he is also confirmed to support Shawn Mendes on the first leg of his 2022 North American “Wonder The World Tour.” Kicking off June 27th in Portland and continuing throughout the summer, tickets are on-sale now; more information is available at wonderthetour.com. Winning over 23 million Spotify listeners, Dermot has amassed 2.5 billion total streams and has the best-selling debut album in his native Ireland of this millennium. He counts iconic artists including Taylor Swift and Dua Lipa as fans – Taylor called him “poetic” while Dua raved “you moved me to tears” upon seeing him perform live. Without Fear, Dermot’s impassioned debut album has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide, making him a platinum-selling artist in over 12 countries. Notably, both of his singles, “Outnumbered” and the Meduza collaboration “Paradise,” were certified Gold in 2021, with “Paradise” streaming over 500 million times.