During her Glastonbury Performance, Patti Smith surprised the audience when she invited the Dalai Lama on stage. Smith brought the legend on stage and guided the audience to sing “Happy Birthday” in honor of the Dalai Lama turning 80 on July 6.
According to Pitchfork, Smith also read a poem to the Dalai Lama. Pitchfork goes on to explain that Smith and the Dalai Lama have interacted a few times over the years. She performed multiple times at Tibet House benefit concerts, wrote a poem for him in 1994, and met him in 1995 at the World Peace Conference in Berlin.
The Dalai Lama seemed incredibly humbled by the audience. Following them singing happy birthday in his honor he said:
“Thank you, thank you. Dear sisters and brothers, I really appreciate so many people’s expressions of warmth, and I very much reciprocate it. I have dedicated my body, speech and mind to the well-being of others in my daily practice, so when people show these warm feelings, that gives me more enthusiasm. So I very much appreciate it.
These singers and musicians, most of you, have white hair—but the voice and the physical action looks very youthful. So that gives me encouragement myself. I’m now 80, but I should be more active like you.”
The Dalai Lama used the venue to also address the audience on violence in Syria, Iraq, and Nigeria. “Whenever I meet people or an organization, the Chinese officials always protest,” he said. “They consider me as a demon so they have to oppose the demon’s activities, although I’m not seeking independence or separation.”
Check out a video of the Dalai Lama’s appearance at Glastonbury 2015 below.