Pollstar Live! How To Change The World with Jon Bon Jovi, Scooter Braun, Sharon Osbourne, Jimmy Jam

Pollstar Live 2018 / One Song At A Time:  How To Change The World
Waterproof Pictures
– Pollstar Live 2018 / One Song At A Time: How To Change The World
Jason Hirschhorn, Jon Bon Jovi, Scooter Braun, Sharon Osbourne, James “Jimmy Jam” Harris
“This is the most ridiculous panel I’ve ever been on,” SB Projects founder Scooter Braun said as he first took the mic at the star-studded session featuring Jon Bon Jovi, Sharon Osbourne and Grammy-winning songwriter/producer James “Jimmy Jam” Harris. “Sharon, I feel like the person on ‘The Talk’ that people don’t know. I will be calling my mom as soon as I get off stage.”
But of course the room was quite familiar with the talent manager and philanthropist, whose list of clients via his management, record label and publishing companies include Justin Bieber, Kanye West, Usher, and Ariana Grande. As much as Braun is recognized for being one of the entertainment industry’s most iconic power brokers, he’s just as well known for his charity work, from his involvement with Pencils of Promise and Fuck Cancer to organizing the “One Love Manchester” benefit concert and “Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief” telethon.
Moderator Jason Hirschhorn, CEO, Chief Curator for REDEF, led a discussion that surely left audience members inspired to follow the leads of the panelists and do their part to make the world a better place, whether it’s by feeding the hungry and providing homes for the homeless like Bon Jovi and his JBJ Soul Foundation, assisting cancer patients and encouraging volunteers to sign up for the international bone marrow registry like Osbourne, helping underserved students through book donations and mediation programs in schools like Braun, or making a difference through music like Harris.  
With so many different needs to be fulfilled in a variety of communities throughout the U.S., not to mention on a global scale, it can be overwhelming to zero in on a cause to become involved with but the panelists shared that it’s as simple as listening to what speaks to you. And inspiration can come at any time. 
Bon Jovi remembered staying in the Ritz Carlton in Philadelphia and looking out the window to see a homeless man sleeping on the street in February. 
“And I thought, ‘That’s not what our forefathers envisioned,’” the musician said, adding that it doesn’t matter whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, white or black, hunger and homelessness can affect anyone. 
“Doing good feels good,” Bon Jovi said. “Finding purpose gives you drive and that’s what makes you able to do it day in and day out. The homeless issue and hunger are joined at the hip. We’ve built 600 houses. The restaurants [The JBJ Soul Kitchen community restaurants] are even more important. My wife had the idea. Not everyone needs a home but everyone needs to eat. Now I have a pinpoint focus.”
Osbourne shared how she was inspired to make life easier for cancer patients when she was going through her own treatment for colon cancer and saw two fellow patients waiting at a bus stop.
“And you realized, ‘How blessed am I?’ These women had families and needed to keep working to pay their rent. You think, ‘Oh my gosh, the things that you spent shit on. I could spend money on a handbag and that money would change those ladies’ lives.’ … You think of the millions and millions of children with cancer and you think my god, you have to just speak out spread the word.”
The Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program, in association with Cedars Sinai Medical Center, helps improve the lives of patients and their loved ones by “providing at-home help, childcare, transportation, access to support groups and patient care services offered within Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.”
“You can’t do everything,” Osbourne said. “You can’t be a part of every single charity. You all want to but you can’t. You can’t do 100 percent for 10 charities so you pick what touches you, what moves you, what you’re passionate about and you do your best.”

One Song At A Time: How To Change The World
Waterproof Pictuers
– One Song At A Time: How To Change The World
Jon Bon Jovi, Scooter Braun
For Harris, it’s all about the music. 
“I think music is the ultimate healer,” Harris said. “My thing is about using music in a way to make things better for people, simple as that. It’s important that we find ways to put music back into schools and that’s what the Grammy Foundation is doing.” He pointed out that music and education pair so well that as kids we learned the alphabet through a song. It just wouldn’t be the same without the melody. 
The songwriter/producer is also involved with MusiCares, the Recording Academy’s charity arm which assists musicians who are struggling with financial, medical and personal emergencies.
Braun shared what it was like to be involved in putting on the “One Love Manchester” benefit just a few weeks after the bombing at Ariana Grande’s Manchester Arena concert. He noted that it was an “impossible ask” to request that Grande be involved but that after initially saying that she couldn’t imagine continuing on tour, she was on board for the benefit, saying, “I want to be who I say I am. I want to do something.”  

The night before the benefit a terrorist attack took place on London Bridge, with a van striking pedestrians and then the passengers stabbing people in nearby restaurants. Braun explained that was the first point when he thought he was being arrogant and that people might get killed at the benefit. But Chris Martin and Marcus Mumford called him and said, “Please don’t cancel the show, it’s more important than ever.”   
Although he was worried people would be too scared to show up, the 50,000-capacity Old Trafford Cricket Ground was filled with fans. 
“It shows the power of music and the power of community – that was the most important show I’ve ever been a part of,” Braun said.  
When it comes to getting involved in charity work, is it better to do your good deeds in private, without the fame, or is it preferable to be vocal about it?
After discussing how George Michael did so much for charity but was only known for it after he died, Osbourne said, “It’s down to the individual. There is no code for this. It’s down to what you want to do yourself.”
Braun chimed in, “I have a rule that I tell the artist, that it’s 50/50 – 50 percent you should do privately, 50 percent you should do publicly. Do it for your soul and the right reason … and the other 50 part is still the right reason but to inspire others.”
He noted that he was tired of some people analyzing whether artists are involved in charity work for the right reasons and trying to tear people down. 
On a related note, Braun talked about how when Bieber was going through a hard time in his life, while the whole world was watching, the singer was still actively involved in granting wishes through Make A Wish. Bieber didn’t publicize this or let any cameras in during the visits, saying “This one’s just for me and the kids.” Nobody knew the extent of his charitable contributions until Make A Wish honored Bieber as the No. 1 Make A Wish Giver in history. 
“We just need to stop judging each other,” Braun said. “He was going through a tough time but nobody gave him the benefit of the doubt. He deserves the credit.” 
Lastly, Hirschhorn posed the question: can music change the world? 
“Absolutely,” Harris said. “It can. It has. I always think of music as a divine art. If I asked you 10 years ago what you were doing, you might not have an answer. But if I played a song, it would unlock every memory. If that’s not divine, what is? It is healing beyond anything else. It transcends barriers beyond religion, class and color.”