Hilary Roberts: “You are unique and talented in your own way”

Do your craft, no matter what. And use all of your feelings and experiences, to create songs. Not only does that help one’s creativity, but it’s also very therapeutic. Moreover, I’d tell them matter what, to not give up. And, really try to enjoy the journey. As a part of our series about stars who are […]

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Do your craft, no matter what. And use all of your feelings and experiences, to create songs. Not only does that help one’s creativity, but it’s also very therapeutic. Moreover, I’d tell them matter what, to not give up. And, really try to enjoy the journey.

As a part of our series about stars who are making an important social impact, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Hilary Roberts

Philanthropist and Billboard #1 Charting Recording Artist Hilary “The Songbird” Roberts has a story of unimaginable troubles, traumatic circumstances, survival, and redemption. When her life was up-side down and disease-ridden, Hilary turned to music to survive. With the support of some close friends, she was connected to help, and eventually given the tools to explore a music career, which ultimately saved her life. Hilary now dedicates her life to paying this deed forward; trying to help those in need, spread her message, help save lives, and ultimately make a positive impact on society through her music, her philanthropy, her docuseries and her podcast.

Hilary released “Just Let Go” off her forthcoming album on April 24. Earlier this year, Hilary released single “Good Man”, which is currently at #16 on the Billboard Dance Club Chart! She is currently working on finishing her first album, which is set to release this summer. Her past chart-toppers released this year include “There For You,”(charted #10 on Billboard Dance Club Chart in the US) and “Back To Life” (charted #1 on Billboard’s Dance Club Chart in the US) and “Fight to the Other Side”, also known as the song that saved the life of her friend, mentor, and survivor of Muscular Dystrophy, Annie Blake. Her most recent single, “Christmas With You” — was released just in time for the holidays, and garnered over half a million views in less than a month.

Hilary started The Red Songbird Foundation in 2009, which aims to help survivors of trauma caused by sexual, physical, and verbal abuse, by providing counselling, assisting members to enter treatment, and by integrating members into support groups that specifically address their primary issues. Already having saved dozens of lives, it is their mission to continue their work and raise awareness in efforts to save more lives. It’s Hilary’s greatest wish to know that people have already been healed and continue to receive treatment in their journey to recovery, and that there are a lot more who will get the help they need as the awareness of the foundation grows. For more information please visit

This year, Hilary will also part-take in a docuseries, Red Songbird Speaks, and Podcast, Let The Journey Begin — both focused around helping those struggling trauma, mental health issues, and alcoholism/ substance abuse.

Red Songbird Speaks premiered on April 5th, 2020 and explores the history and back-story of singer-songwriter Hilary Roberts, founder of The Red Songbird Foundation. The 12-episode series will feature guests such as Director of Marketing for The Red Songbird Foundation and MTV’s “The Hills” stars, Jason Wahler, with his wife Ashley Wahler, amongst others. Each segment will portray moments of Hilary’s past leading up to the creation of The Red Songbird Foundation, and aims to help viewers affected by similar tragedy or hardship, by giving them an outlet for reaching out, bettering themselves and supporting others. As Hilary and her peers share stories and experiences, using reenactments and powerful imagery, she hopes to drive home messages of self- improvement and positive motivation. Episodes air weekly on Sundays at 9PM ET/6PM PT on Facebook Watch.

Her podcast Let The Journey Begin launched on April 2th, 2020 and serves as a safe and comfortable environment to have an uncomfortable conversations around life’s challenges and victories. Hosted by Hilary and Jason Wahler, the podcast will feature new guests each week from all walks of life to hear their stories, trials, and tribulations that they have faced and/or are facing. By looking at their journey, they hope to provide their audience with relatable content, open up the conversation, break the stigma, and potentially offer a different perspective or even a solution to their troubles. The show airs on Thursdays and is available on Apple, Spotify, and iHeart Media.

Thank you so much for joining us Hilary! Can you share with us the “backstory” that led you to this career path?

Ever since I was 10 and I saw the play, Annie, I wanted to sing. I’ve had some detours along the way and finally am able to live my dreams today.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career? What was the lesson or take away that you took out of that story?

At 25, I was told I was too old for the record business. I believed that for a long time… When I really put my mind to it and I got connected with Damon Sharpe, my Grammy award-winning producer/songwriter, people were still telling me it’s too late, “you’ll never chart”. I ignored the naysayers and even my own negative thinking that I had listened to for a long time and went for my dreams. Our first single there for you went to top 10, and when we remade the Soul to Soul classic, “Back To Life”, it went all the way to number one on the Billboard Dance Chart. The lesson is not to listen to the naysayers, and don’t listen to your own doubts or negative beliefs. Also, don’t take on other people’s negative beliefs.

What would you advise a young person who wants to emulate your success?

Do your craft, no matter what. And use all of your feelings and experiences, to create songs. Not only does that help one’s creativity, but it’s also very therapeutic. Moreover, I’d tell them matter what, to not give up. And, really try to enjoy the journey.

Is there a person that made a profound impact on your life? Can you share a story?

I cannot just say one person. There have been people who pulled me out of the hell of alcoholism, drug addiction, past abuse, and put me on a path to healing to the life that I have today, that is better than I could have ever imagined. For those beautiful loving souls, I am forever grateful.

How are you using your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share with us the meaningful or exciting things you are working on right now with your foundation Red Songbird?

I create songs that I hope help people to know that they’re not alone. To give them a smile, to give them hope, to give them place of relatability and sometimes make someone want to get up and dance!

This May and June, our most recent initiative has been to raise money for people to get help that have experienced loss during COVID-19. We are also offering free therapy to those who may have lost someone due to the disease, so that they may heal and move on with their lives.

Can you share with us the story behind why you chose to take up this particular cause?

I chose to start my foundation because when I was six years sober and facing nightmares every single night of the trauma that I endured in childhood. A foundation paid for half of my treatment. I wanted to do the same for others when I had the platform and the means.

As far as our #Givegriefachance campaign, Jason Wahler (my Co-Chair), myself and the Red Songbird Foundation board watched how many people were suffering the loss of loved ones during COVID-19. We couldn’t imagine the pain of not being able to be with loved ones in the hospital or have a proper funeral for them. Then to not be able to have the support of having other loved ones near during the time of grief. We wanted to give those who can’t afford therapy the opportunity to have sessions with a therapist to process their grief in a safe way, so they can heal and function freely.

Can you share with us a story about a person who was impacted by your cause?

A woman that I know with 28 years sober, lost custody of her daughter from a tumultuous and abusive marriage with a man that had a lot of money. She was suicidal and was facing her own pain from childhood abuse and we sent her to treatment and to outpatient. Today she no longer wants to kill herself and is thriving. She also has visitation and is working out the aspect of custody with her daughter.

Are there three things that individuals, society or the government can do to support you in this effort?

Individuals can post us on their social platforms and in their stories to draw attention to our foundation. If they have the means, we will accept any kind of donation. I believe society is already talking about these things which is so wonderful. For the people that have suffered so much alcoholism and drug addiction is so much more accepted today. When people speak about being abused as children or adults, society is much more open. If we can keep the dialogue open, this is the best society can do. Our government, the most wonderful thing they did was recognized alcoholism is a disease and that has been such a help to those who don’t have mental control over that horrible addiction. If the government can keep educating our young people about the danger of alcoholism and drug addiction and make safe places for them to speak about any abuse that may be happening behind closed doors, this is always a good thing.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or an example for each.

  1. You are unique and talented in your own way. You have your own voice and are special because there is no one like you. I used to always compare myself in negative ways to other singers and songwriters. I would get so down on myself that it would discourage me in huge ways. When I finally realized that I am unique just being me and went for my dreams with who I am and could celebrate other singers and songwriters for being who they were, it completely changed my perceptions to a positive light.
  2. Do not compare yourself to others in a negative way. Always be competing against yourself and try to be better and better in your craft. If I’m busy focusing on becoming the best that I can be, it builds my gifts and my self-esteem. I just keep working on improving myself.
  3. You will be rejected, keep going anyway. People will tell you, you can’t do it, do it anyway. There will be people that betray you, keep going anyway. I had my personal lawyer that had been with me for 10 years steal from me and he took a lot of money. That same day that I found out the whole truth, my close friends spent time with me trying to cheer me up by doing silly things and then taking me bowling… Their love and support taught me that just because there’s one bad apple it doesn’t mean everyone is… I’m very grateful for my loyal friends, family and business associates.
  4. Know why you are going for your career and let it not be for superficial reasons. Let it be to make a difference. If you do it to just get the accolades, it will feel very shallow, when you do it to help people and have beautiful friendships and for a greater cause it makes all the difference in the world. A friend of mine that encouraged me to sing, so many times when I was down on myself… When my career started taking off she became sick with a very rare form of muscular dystrophy. She attempted suicide seven times. We wrote a song called, “Fight To The Other Side”, when we presented the video to her and her beautiful husband, she no longer wanted to commit suicide. She is two years off of the pills that she was addicted to, and is now an advocate to help others with her same sickness and also people that experience depression and drug addiction. It is truly a song that has saved a life all because it was written from a place of love.
  5. Always help your fellow people in the industry. Stick with those people that are humble and honest and giving and have integrity. When you surround yourself with people that are givers and not takers, you will find that you have some of the most beautiful friendships you’ve ever known. I’ve known different people in the business of music, and the ones that I surround myself with are the ones that have beautiful humility and kindness and want to help. I remember when I started working with Damon Sharpe and I was so nervous and he really put me at ease. I was insecure about my songwriting and he helped guide me and show me the ropes and he still does. I feel safe just being right where I am in my learning process with him. I also know singers and musicians that are just incredible and I’m so grateful for them I get to celebrate them and be their cheerleader and love them because it’s not about me it’s about what we are doing to make a difference on this planet and it’s about celebrating each other. I’m so grateful to have these precious friendships today!

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would give humanity the tools to let go of their addictions, to face the pain they’re running from and move past it to a place of love, forgiveness, joy, and peace.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you explain how that was relevant in your life?

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”

-Mother Teresa

The reason I love this quote is because of the woman who wrote it gave so much of herself. And because we are going to face hardship, and it’s about moving forward anyway and becoming our better selves inspite of what happens during our lifetime.

We are blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Politics, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I would love to meet and have a conversation with Tom Bilyeu. He uses his platform Impact Theory to help people. He interviews great minds and talents from across the globe. I know that I could learn a lot from him.

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