Being a musician can be a well-paying gig. But not all musicians are successful enough to afford sleeping in oxygen tanks or have a couple of doctors in their entourage for those moments when they OD, get a mud shark stuck in their rectum, or have some other medical emergency. We all know that medical care can be expensive and even more so for a struggling musician. The Sweet Relief Musicians Fund was established to provide financial aid to “all types of career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems.”
The organization uses donations to help touring musicians pay for their medical expenses. To be eligible, musicians applying for funding must have regular public performances or performed on at least three widely-released recordings, demonstrate financial need, and must have or recently have had a serious medical condition. In 2012, the organization held the ‘Death to All’ tour to raise funds for Sweet Relief. The tour was a tribute to American singer/songwriter and guitarist Charles Michael “Chuck” Schuldiner.
Often referred to as “The Father of Death Metal,” Chuck Schuldiner was diagnosed with brain cancer in 1999. The medical bills overwhelmed the Schuldiner family, and a number of benefit concerts were held to cover the costs. Numerous artists, including Kid Rock and Red Hot Chili Peppers auctioned off personal items with the funds going into covering Schuldiner’s medical expenses. After a brave fight, Chuck Schuldiner succumbed to cancer on December 13, 2001. Sweet Relief Musicians Fund holds the annual ‘Death to All’ tour in memory of Chuck Schuldiner. Black Sabbath, Incubus, Aerosmith, and 311 are among the acts that support Sweet Relief.
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