Gwen Stefani outraged on reading mom’s sign at concert, calls her boy right onto stage
Children can be cruel. While we’d like to think that childhood is a magical time when kids are free to explore and discover without fear of judgement, the pressure to fit in and be cool is immense.
And despite all the national conversation about bullying in schools, one thing remains true—it still happens every day across America. But the tide is definitely turning, and for one pre-teen from Florida, knowing that his biggest idol cared made all the difference.
When you first see Brandon Burford, from Port St. Lucie in South Florida, you just see a happy kid of 12 years of age. But Burford was bullied at school for his small size and delicate features from age 6 to 12. As his mom, Maria Burford, wrote on Instagram: “he would come home crying every single day.”
What was Burford to do, faced with a bunch of cruel kids who wouldn’t leave him alone? While his family was always behind him, he needed a refuge from the hostile treatment he faced at school. And he found it in the music of Gwen Stefani. Mom Maria Burford wrote that “he’d go in his room and smile and dance. She always made it better when I couldn’t and for that I will be eternally grateful.”
While it would be difficult to find a bigger star in the world of entertainment, Gwen Stefani is a person who remains true to herself and to her family. So when she was confronted with a person whom her music meant everything to, she wasn’t going to stand by idly.
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About 3 years ago when things were hard in my life I prayed to God everyday that I could get a chance to use my gift that God gave me and make a difference in some way in this world – last night this little guy was the answer to my prayers 🙏🏻 #zerotoleranceforbullies #onelove #thisiswhatthetruthfeelslike Gx
So when Gwen Stefani came to perform in the nearby Perfect Vodka arena in West Palm Beach in July 2016, Burford’s mom, Maria, knew exactly what she was going to do. She wanted to give her son Burford the chance of a lifetime to see his idol, the person whose music had “[put] a smile on his face when nothing else could,” his mom said in her Instagram post.
Burford’s mom managed to get first-row tickets and wanted to say thank you to Stefani for all the singer had done, making a sign telling her son’s story. When Stefani saw the sign, it only took her a couple of seconds to be outraged by the way Brian had been treated. “Bullied from 1st to 5th grade,” she read out loud. “Get up here!” she said to Burford.
His mom and all the other devoted fans around them helped crowdsurf Burford over to security, who helped him up on stage. Then Stefani took hold of the boy and gave him a massive hug, lifting him off the ground and bringing tears to his eyes with her words of encouragement.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) July 29, 2016
After the show, Brian got to go backstage and spend some time with his all-time favorite singer. It was a huge experience for Stefani as well, who was touched by his story.
he posted a fan’s video of the interaction on Instagram and wrote: “About 3 years ago when things were hard in my life I prayed to God everyday that I could get a chance to use my gift […] and make a difference in some way in this world – last night this little guy was the answer to my prayers.”
When asked by WPTV in Palm Beach how it had felt to be next to his idol, Brandon Burford said: “it was unbelievable, like it wasn’t happening.” Stefani thanked Brian for being a fan and listening to her music, letting him know that music is way more important than anything the bullies could say to him.
An incredible story that shows just why Stefani’s fans are so devoted to her. As for how Maria Burford feels about Stefani, “she is an angel,” as she commented on Stefani’s Instagram.