Starkey Hearing Foundation (SHF) and the GRAMMY Foundation® have recently kicked off the SoundMatters campaign in more than 950 Best Buy locations, aiming to communicate the importance of hearing and hearing loss prevention to young music fans.

SoundMatters has enlisted stars to help spread the word: Taylor Swift leads the roster of celebrity supporters, which includes emerging artists Crosby Loggins, Jimmy Wayne, and GRAMMY-nominated Sara Bareilles. "We are grateful to partner with the GRAMMY Foundation in this effort, and having young artists join our campaign to promote responsible listening is paramount in fulfilling our mission of educating the public on the importance of hearing," says Bill Austin, founder of SHF.

The initiative is designed to raise the social awareness of healthy hearing, prevention of hearing damage, and encouraging regular hearing check-ups. The rising popularity of portable entertainment devices is putting more people at risk.

"Music is an essential part of our daily lives and more broadly, a resonant force in our cultural heritage," says Kristen Madsen, senior VP of the GRAMMY Foundation.

"These young artists have huge followings that can help us to communicate a message to their fans that would otherwise be lost," says Debbie Wright, executive director of SHF. "The joys of healthy hearing are experienced every day in conversations with family and friends and in listening to our favorite musical artists. We want to change the way people think about hearing and start the conversation about the ways SoundMatters."

To help drive the initiative, Best Buy and its @15 Foundation, together with headphone manufacturers Philips, JVC, and Sony, have taken the lead in showing their support.

For more information, visit

Starkey Hearing Foundation delivers more than 50,000 hearing instruments annually through hearing missions in 86 countries. It was founded by William F. Austin in 1984 with the vision So the World May Hear. Aiming to raise awareness about the importance of hearing, the foundation launched SoundMatters, to educate the public about responsible listening. Since 2000, the foundation has distributed more than 340,000 hearing instruments to those in need around the world. For more information, visit

The GRAMMY Foundation was established in 1989 to cultivate the understanding, appreciation, and advancement of the contribution of recorded music to American culture—from the artistic and technical legends of the past to the still unimagined musical breakthroughs of future generations of music professionals. The foundation offers programs and activities that engage the music industry, the cultural community, and the general public. The foundation works in partnership year-round with its founder, The Recording Academy®, to bring national attention to important issues such as the value and impact of music and arts education and the urgency of preserving our rich cultural heritage. For more information, visit

[Source: Starkey Hearing Foundation]