Kesha has been praying for the recovery of Southern resident orcas.
Earlier this month, the international pop singer released a video of a recent whale watching trip on San Juan Island. The video was made in partnership with Columbia Sportswear and features information on the Center for Whale Research.
The orca nonprofit was not involved in the video production, but a plug for the center’s website is displayed on the last frame. Columbia staff agreed to donate $5 to the center every time Kesha’s recording was shared on social media, with a maximum donation of $10,000. Lisa Moorby, with the Center for Whale Research, said the maximum amount was reached just days after the video was released.
“We were very pleased that they wanted to support our research and conservation efforts,” she said. “In addition to that, we were pleased that Kesha would likely reach a younger demographic and, as a result, communicate to a new audience the vital message that our Southern resident orcas are gravely endangered.”
The Center for Whale Research, which is located on San Juan, has counted the Southern resident killer whale population since 1976. The endangered species population now totals 74 whales, the lowest number in almost 30 years.
The roughly five-minute video features the “Praying” singer gazing at island animals like bald eagles, fox kits and harbor seals.
Kesha chants “Orcas, orcas,” as she approaches the island by plane. She displays her orca tattoo before finally seeing “her whale friends,” as she calls them, on a boat, then kayak.
Writing music, says Kesha, gives her “the same happy feeling [as] seeing whales in the wild,” and referred to visiting the island as “another planet” compared to her hectic music career.
“Everything about this trip has been magic and cosmic feeling,” she says. “It’s like a perfect juxtaposition to my tour life.”
Watch the video below.