Gwen Stefani brought a bullied fan onstage during her last tour stop in a touching moment earlier this week.
While performing in West Palm Beach, Florida, on July 27, Stefani spotted a sign in the crowd, CNN reports. The singer reached for the poster and read it aloud to the crowd of fans gathered inside the Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre.
“My son was bullied from first to fifth grade. He would come home every day upset, but he’d go to his room, listen to your music and smile,” Marie Burford’s poster read.
Stefani paused her concert and insisted that Burford’s son, Brandon, get onstage with her.
“Get up here right now!” the 46-year-old singer exclaimed.
The audience cheered as security helped the 12-year-old fan get onstage. He burst into tears immediately. Stefani first turned him to face the audience, holding his hands up as everyone cheered for him, then she hugged him a couple of times and they talked for a few seconds.
Whatever she said, it’s sure to stick with him for years to come.
Gwen Stefani’s decision to bring the bullied fan onstage with her has since spread across social media, with several fans tweeting her with messages of pride and love for the musician and young Brandon.
Boyfriend Blake Shelton also retweeted the Instagram video clip of the moment with her fan that Stefani shared after the show.
Stefani captioned the clip with an inspiring message about changing the world using her God-given talent.
“About 3 years ago when things were hard in my life I prayed to God everyday that I could get a chance to use my gift that God gave me and make a difference in some way in this world – last night this little guy was the answer to my prayers????????#zerotoleranceforbullies#onelove#thisiswhatthetruthfeelslike Gx”
In an interview after the concert, Marie Burford told local West Palm Beach station WPTV that Brandon is a huge fan of Gwen Stefani, and that her music is what allowed him to get through his hardest times while being bullied at school.
“To see him come home upset from school and then to put on her CDs, to see him dancing and sing with a smile on his face. I told him if she ever toured with No Doubt or by herself that I would get him tickets to the front row no matter what it took,” Burford said. “Last night was his moment.”
Brandon’s mother’s love and determination for her son paid off this week. Not only did he get to watch his favorite artist from the front row and get to hug her, he even got a chance to go backstage with Gwen Stefani, where she autographed his poster. She also took an adorable selfie with the Burfords, which she posted on Twitter and Instagram.
Burford told WPTV that her son refused to take off the T-shirt and concert wristband he’d worn to the show.
Gwen Stefani announced her “This Is What the Truth Feels Like Tour” back in April. Along with opening act Eve, the 27-date run began with Boston in early July and continues tonight (July 29) in Atlanta, Georgia.
During an interview with Newsday, the mother of two talked about getting back on the road after so many years.
“Every time I go out on stage, I have to do my very best. You can’t just walk through it. You have to be in it, and it’s exhausting. And I think that’s one of the reasons I haven’t toured in seven years, because the last tour I did almost killed me, after having those two babies and then going on tour and nursing.
“It’s just going to be about: How can I get to know these people that have supported me? How can I get to know them through these songs that night? I just want to feel a connection.”
Gwen Stefani bringing a bullied fan onstage for that unforgettable experience is sure to be just one of the great connections she’ll make on this tour.
[Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP Images]