Type “Tenino” into Google right now and you’re in for a surprise. The rural Thurston County town is in the spotlight because of a fundraiser to help orphans in Ghana. “We’re shocked but really happy about how big it went,” says Tenino High School senior Brittany Patterson.

Just how big is the story? Well, the Today Show called and pretty much all of Canada is in arms. You see, the fundraiser employed a rather unique method to collect funds. During passing times between classes and lunch the Justin Bieber song “Baby” was played over and over again. Students could make the music stop permanently by donating money to reach the overall goal of $500.

The idea came during a student government meeting. Patterson, who is the ASB Social Chair, credits another student for suggesting the initial plan. “It wasn’t even supposed to be the biggest part,” says Patterson.

I met Patterson and ASB President Connor Stakelin at Tenino High School. As they showed me around I noticed a white board. Written in blue marker was the total raised so far: $1,054. A flood of donations poured in once the story made it onto KING 5 television. The next day KISW Radio called and pledged $500.

The money will eventually be put to good use helping students at the Crossover International Academy in Ghana. “The teachers and principal at the Academy are all volunteers,” says Stakelin. Paper, a thing we use every day, is a luxury at the Crossover International Academy. “At the end of the day the students erase everything so they can use the piece of paper for the next day,” explains Stakelin.

Much has been made about the Tenino students being “tortured” by the onslaught of Bieber Fever. That’s not really true. Students and staff knew in advance and most were supportive because they believe in the cause. “Some would just empty their wallets with any loose change they had,” says Stakelin.

Patterson and Stakelin are impressive. Patterson will be attending Eastern Washington University in the fall and Staklein is staying local at Saint Martin’s University. Lost in the “Baby” frenzy is the real story about a group of young people banding together to help other young people. “We’re trying to save lives,” says Patterson.

Also lost is the connection between Tenino and the Crossover International Academy. Tenino Elementary Principal, David Ford, developed a relationship with his counterpart in Ghana over a year ago. Together, Ford, his students and the community at-large have sent money, soccer balls and textbooks to the area.

This specific project was designed to help feed people in Tongor-Attokrokpo, Ghana. A drought combined with intense heat destroyed the crops and growing season is still a few months away. Right now the younger children get two meals a day while the older children get one. The influx of money has created options. There’s talk of purchasing a cow. “We’re going to do more than we thought,” says Patterson.

I asked Stakelin and Patterson if they’d heard from Bieber yet. The answer, so far, is no.  However, Patterson is a little worried. “I’m actually kind of nervous about his fans. They’re committed and if you offend Bieber then they’ll come after you.”

If that happens, I know a bunch of people who will come to Stakelin and Patterson’s defense. Their names are written on little paper hearts attached to a Ghana flag. These are not just people who gave money – they’re supporters.

If you’d like to help, visit Tenino High School with a donation or go online to


Love the music [they] play on “CBS This Morning”? Now you can hear it all on their Pandora station at

The reigning queen of country raked in nearly $40 million in 2013 | By Jon Blistein

Taylor Swift owned the top spot of Billboard’s highest-paid musicians of 2013, raking in $39,699,576.60, which was plenty to best second and third place finishers Kenny Chesney and Justin Timberlake who earned $32,956,240.70 and $31,463,297.03.

Using data from Nielsen SoundScan and Broadcast Data Systems – which track sales and spins on TV, radio and internet, respectively – and their own Boxscore stats, Billboard calculated artists’ total U.S. earnings from touring, recorded-music sales, publishing royalties and revenue from digital music and video streaming (money earned from sponsorships, merch and syncs weren’t included due to a lack of data).

Swift dominated other artists in every area. Her recent Red Tour took in an estimated $30 million, while the singer notched nearly 10 million downloads and ranked fifth in streaming royalties. Meanwhile, Chesney bolstered his album earnings with $90 million from his recent No Shoes Nation tour, topping 1 million in attendance for his 10th tour in a row.

Timberlake stormed back in a big way in 2013 with his two-part album The 20/20 Experience, which generated more than $5 million in royalties from digital downloads and streaming. The album’s first single “Suit & Tie,” which featured Jay Z, scored the highest first-week plays in the Mainstream Top 40 chart’s history, while the rapper and pop star’s joint summer tour earned $60 million from just 12 shows (Timberlake grossed $43 million on his own over 39 shows).

Bon Jovi and the Rolling Stones rounded out the top five, earning approximately $29 million and $26 million and generating most of their money from touring. Bon Jovi still raked it in on the digital download front, though, and their 1986 anthem “Livin’ on a Prayer” even returned to the Hot 100 this year thanks to a viral video. The Stones in particular scored big with their 50th anniversary tour, selling out every show on the trek, which AEG Live reportedly earned the rights to promote for a price tag around $80 million.

Ahead of the surprise release of her chart-topping last album, Beyoncé grossed $19.9 million from her 132-date Mrs. Carter Show World Tour to help put her at number six with $24 million, while Maroon 5 followed with $22,284,754.07 thanks to a headlining slot on the Honda Civic Tour and continued chart domination with “Payphone,” “One More Night” and “Daylight,” which comprised for 7.6 million track sales worth $1.4 million.

Country star Luke Bryan pushed 2.7 million albums and 7.6 million digital tracks, and earned $15.4 million from touring to put him at number eight with $22,142,235.98; and Pink garnered $15.1 million from the U.S. dates of her latest tour to place her at number nine with $20 million. Fleetwood Mac capped off the top 10, earning $19,123,101.98, $17.4 million of that coming from their 2013 world tour behind the 35th anniversary reissue of their seminal album Rumours.

You can check out Billboard’s complete list of music’s top earners and see how it stacks up to Forbes’ own list of the top earners in music, which Madonna topped back in November.

* * * * *
COMBO supports our locally owned and operated Small Music-Related Businesses. Help Colorado’s economy and do business with them!


Reed Fuchs is a creative entity & producer at Moon Magnet. The studio is a full service multimedia production house and Denver based artist collective of makers & music lovers. Moon Magnet has worked alongside many highly respected songwriters in Denver; everything from recording, mastering, album artwork, CD Duplication, and three successful Kickstarter videos. Reed sculpts his own brand of Electro-Organic Adventure music under the artist name déCollage. | | 720-240-6936

Leave a Reply

Close Search Window