Blake Shelton Shares Powerful ‘I Won’t Back Down’ Cover in Support of Afghan Girls Group [Watch]
Blake Shelton lends his powerful voice to a Tom Petty classic — for a good cause — in a new video that spotlights Afghanistan's only music school, the Miraculous Love Kids.
This benefit cover of "I Won't Back Down" also features an array of Rock & Roll Hall of Famers, including guitarist Joe Walsh and bassist Timothy B. Schmidt of the Eagles and drummer Matt Sorum of Guns N' Roses.
Since its original 1989 release, "I Won't Back Down" has served as a fan-favorite anthem of defiance and independence, but the song took on a powerful meaning for Lanny Cordola, the American founder and director of the Miraculous Love Kids, when he began to work with women and girls facing oppression in their home country.
"When I was working to get the girls out of Afghanistan, 'I Won't Back Down' became our anthem to never give up, no matter what the circumstances or odds in our pursuit of freedom, justice, equality and peace," Cordola explains in a press release. "It's not only for the girls and women of Afghanistan but for all oppressed people of the world. As Tom Petty so powerfully wrote, 'You can stand me up at the gates of hell but I won't back down ...'"
Moved by Cordola's story, and by the experience of the girls involved in the Miraculous Love Kids, Shelton and the other stars associated with this release signed on to lend their musical talents to an all-star cover.
Originally released in a limited capacity last November, the song aims to raise awareness and resources for some of the most vulnerable children in Afghanistan and its neighboring country, Pakistan. Now, you can hear the song on mainstream platforms, and watch a music video that spotlights the young musicians of the Miraculous Love Kids.
Shots of the star musicians performing from home or their studios are interspersed with clips of the young girls singing and playing on a rooftop, jaw-dropping mountain views visible in the background. Another frame finds the girls strumming acoustic guitars in a group in the woods, and in a third, they perform from a public park.
To learn more about the Miraculous Love Kids' mission, visit the organization's website.