March 21, 2018 / 8:28 PM

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Katy Perry Surprises Thomas Fire, Montecito Mudslide Survivors At Benefit Concert


Katy Perry stole American Idol contestant's first kiss
Katy Perry In Concert With Carly Rae Jepsen At T-Mobile Arena In Las Vegas. The singer-songwriter performed at a benefit concert to help raise funds for the victims of the Thomas fire and mudslides in California in December. She joined fellow celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres at the benefit concert.   ( Ethan Miller | Getty Images )

Katy Perry performed at a benefit concert in California that aims to help the victims of the Thomas fire and subsequent mudslides late last year.

The "Swish, Swish" singer helped the organizers raise nearly $2 million for the affected community.

Katy Perry Serenades Survivors

The 33-year-old joined several other volunteers, including Katharine McPhee, Richard Marx, Alan Parsons, and Kenny Loggins at the Kick Ash Bash presented by One805. The event was held on Sunday, Feb. 25, in Summerland, California.

Perry performed her 2010 hit single "Firework" to Lauren Cantin, a 14-year-old who was rescued after her home was engulfed by debris flow, reported E! News. She lost her father to the natural disaster.

The multi-Grammy-nominated singer also performed the song "Roar" to the crowd of about 2,000 that include survivors and first responders.

"This means the world to me," The American Idol judge told CNN. "This is where I flourish. My heart was broken by the tragedy, the mudslide. I'll do anything to help this community."

Perry grew up in the nearby Goleta.

Montecito resident Ellen DeGeneres and her wife, Portia de Rossi, also appeared at the event. The television host promised the crowd that she will continue to share information about the tragedy on her talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

"The news has moved on, but we have not moved on," she stated onstage. "And it's not just rich people and billionaires, it's everybody."

Thomas Fire And Mudslide

In December last year, a fire broke out in Ventura County and spread north into Santa Barbara County. The fire forced many to abandon their homes, including celebrities such as Rob Lowe, Lea Michelle, Chrissy Teigen, Maria Shriver, and Chelsea Handler.

The wildfire became California's largest by size in the state's modern history. Then a month after, rain poured over the affected counties, triggering a mudslide that killed over a dozen of residents, and more are missing (including Cantin's 16-year-old brother).

The victims' ages ranged from 3 to 89 years old, all of whom have suffered "multiple traumatic injuries due to flash flood with mudslides." After the Thomas fire burned vegetation off the hillsides, the mud swept homes off their foundation and created a debris flow that was estimated to be around 30 square miles.

Many of the deaths and injuries occurred at locations that were not under mandatory evacuation for flooding and mudslide, according to NPR. The homes, however, were evacuated weeks ago because of the wildfire.

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