Miguel Performs in Detroit Living Room to Highlight Wage Stagnation

By Sameer Rao Sep 08, 2015

Although Miguel didn’t make the most statement-driven album of 2015, the R&B superstar stood up in support of working-class families struggling to pay rent amidst stagnating wages when he performed for a small audience (including numerous children) in a Detroit living room.

Miguel played three songs, backed only by acoustic guitar, as part of "Concerts for the 1st," a new series from Make Room, an organization that works across the public and private sector to raise awarness about the "11 million families struggling to make rent" while their real wages remain stagnant, according to their website. He played in the home of Devona Rollins, a 46-year-old single mother, and her family and friends (including numerous children, who vocally accompanied the singer in key moments throughout the set). 

Speaking during the concert (videos of which you can see above and below), the Mexican and black singer referred to his own family’s struggles when describing why the concert was important to him:

I grew up in a single-parent family, and my mom often struggled. I would see her work really hard, come home and be tired, and give everything she had to us. So it’s really cool to be able to, hopefully, let you know that people are paying attention.

Make Room’s managing director, Angela Boyd, says that she was inspired by "rent parties" from the Harlem Renaissance era, where musicians would play in people’s homes to help raise money for the hosts’ rent. 

Check our a video of Miguel performing "Coffee" above, as well as performances  of "What’s Normal Anyway" (which, like "Coffee," is off of this summer’s excellent "Wildheart") and 2012’s hit "Adorn" below.


(H/t Rolling Stone