Celebrating Black Artists and Their Philanthropies 🎉

Written by: Abbie Alonzo


Today, we look beyond the music of some of our favorite artists. Offstage, these musicians are truly doing their part to help people around the world in many different ways. From Rihanna to Lil Nas X, find out how your favorite artist is helping to make the world a better place! 🌍


Chance the Rapper

Chicago native Chance the Rapper has been giving back to his hometown since 2016 when he founded SocialWorks. SocialWorks is an organization that partners directly with

Chicago Public Schools to encourage arts and education among Chicago’s youth. The operation has programs that focus on education, mental health, homelessness, and performing and literary arts. The goal of the institution is “to inspire creativity, build dreams, and advocate for youth success in all its forms.” SocialWorks features five different enterprises: OpenMike, Warmest Winter, Kids of the Kingdom, The New Chance: Arts & Literature Fund, and My State of Mind. OpenMike is an opportunity for high school students to showcase their talents at the famous Harold Washington Library in Chicago. Warmest Winter supports those experiencing homelessness through service, donations and events. Kids of the Kingdom promotes performing and literary arts among students ages 5-13. My State of Mind provides mental health resources to those in Cook County, Illinois. The last initiative Chance has undertaken is The New Chance: Arts & Literature Fund. This fund now aids nearly 40 schools throughout Chicago. 📚


Rihanna

Chance the Rapper is not the only hometown philanthropist, though! Rihanna started The Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012. Named for her grandparents, this foundation initially began when Rihanna donated modern medical equipment to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in her hometown of Bridgetown, Barbados. Since then, the foundation has expanded worldwide and serves many countries. She has raised upwards of $50 million for people worldwide suffering from HIV/AIDS, as well as provided relief to Haiti, the Bahamas, and the Philippines after they were hit by natural disasters. Through this foundation, Rihanna has also raised $2.3 billion for worldwide education advocacy! These funds went towards assistance for 870 million children in 89 countries! Even more recently, CLF and partnering organizations raised more than $36 million to support 45 organizations working on the COVID-19 response in 14 countries! Rihanna has been named a national hero and Ambassador of Barbados and continues to make a difference in every life she touches! ✨


Megan Thee Stallion

Another passionate philanthropist is the one and only, Megan Thee Stallion. In 2020, she made a large donation to an assisted living facility in her hometown of Houston, Texas. The beginning of the coronavirus pandemic saw many people falling on hard times, and the rapper wanted to aid her community as much as she could. A recent graduate from Texas Southern University, Megan received a degree in health administration, which she hopes to use to open her own assisted living facility! Megan also partnered with FashionNova last year on International Women’s Day to create a $1 million fund to support women in education, business, charity, and more. The “Women on Top” initiative will aid women in achieving their dreams. Megan’s most recent philanthropic venture was a unique partnership with Popeye’s. The two teamed up to create “Hottie Sauce” – a limited edition sauce that enabled Megan and Popeye’s to make a six-figure donation to Houston charity Houston Random Acts of Kindness. The organization aims to bring communities together and share happiness and compassion with each other, specifically supporting veterans and children with special needs. Hot girls care about their communities! 💅🏽


Cardi B

Speaking of hot girls who are passionate about their hometowns, let’s talk about Ms. Cardi B! Last month, a devastating fire broke out at an apartment building in The Bronx, New York. This disastrous event took the lives of 17 people and injured 63 more. When Cardi heard about this tragedy, she knew she had to do something to help. She is very passionate and proud about being from the Bronx and wanted to provide relief to the families of those lost. Cardi offered to pay for each of the 17 victim’s funerals. The rapper stated, “I cannot begin to imagine the pain and anguish that the families of the victims are experiencing, but I hope that not having to worry about the costs associated with burying their loved ones will help as they move forward and heal. I send my prayers and condolences to everyone affected by this horrific tragedy.” Cardi also made a $1 million donation to families struggling due to the pandemic. On top of this, she donated 20,000 meal supplements to New York-area healthcare workers so that even if they did not have time to eat meals, they would be taken care of. As if this wasn't heartfelt enough, she also donated a ton of essential supplies to an orphanage in Nigeria. Keep it up, Cardi! 💖


Beyoncé

Beyoncé has been showing us her philanthropic side since 2013. BeyGOOD is an organization founded by the singer that has aided in many different areas of humanitarian concerns, from helping people get back to work, to housing those who need it most. The organization helped 2 million people in its first year in existence, and only continues to grow. In its 9 years, BeyGOOD has undertaken many initiatives. During the height of the pandemic, it offered $5,000 to 100 people facing eviction. This was coupled with $10,000 donations to over 250 small black-owned businesses directly affected by Coronavirus. Beyoncé also partnered with Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, and the two donated $6 million to community-oriented organizations, including the National Alliance in Mental Illness. BeyGOOD also came to Texans’ aid when they were affected by a winter storm last February. The foundation donated food, water, and monetary relief to those affected. She has aided in other natural disaster relief around the world, such as helping those affected by Hurricane Katrina and earthquakes in Haiti and Nepal. Beyoncé also uses her charity and platform to promote education of global issues, such as climate change and mental health. Beyoncé has also taken part in other heartfelt ventures, such as donating her $4 million salary from Cadillac Records to a drug rehabilitation center and partnering with Goodwill to aid in the unemployment crisis! She definitely earned the name Queen Bey! 👑


Pharrell Williams

At the end of 2020, Pharrell announced his creation of Black Ambition. Black Ambition is an initiative that funds Black and Latinx entrepreneurs in hopes of bringing them closer to achieving their goals. The areas focused on are tech, design, healthcare, and consumer products and services. This enterprise has two parts: The Black Ambition HBCU Prize and The Black Ambition Prize. In each category, teams come together in competition before a panel of judges and investors. The Black Ambition HBCU Prize provides students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities opportunities to grow their entrepreneurial ventures through mentorship and monetary aid. The winner of this prize receives $250,000 towards their blossoming ideas and at least nine other runner-ups will receive smaller monetary prizes. The other side of this initiative is The Black Ambition Prize, which aids companies in their early stages. Similarly to the collegiate prize, there will be one winner who will receive $1 million towards their growing enterprise, and nine others will receive a smaller amount. Pharrell’s amazing program has made a difference in the lives of many and given people the chance to make their dreams a reality! 💫


Doja Cat

Doja Cat has launched a unique charitable endeavor. Recently, the “Say So” singer announced a collaboration with Poshmark in which she sold some of her own items of clothing on the secondhand shopping site. The thirteen items sold out in under an hour, and all proceeds went towards the Musicians On Call nonprofit. Musicians On Call is an organization that brings live music to the bedside of patients in healthcare facilities, providing them a heartfelt, personal experience. Who wouldn’t love to wear Doja’s iconic clothes while supporting a great cause? 👗


Lil Nas X

Lil Nas X blew us away with his Montero album for many reasons. Aside from the catchy songs that got stuck in our heads, Lil Nas was doing so much behind the scenes of this album that touched the lives of many! He managed to raise over $100,000 for a plethora of amazing causes. When the album was first announced, he posted the tracklist as well as thirteen charities all a part of the Gilead COMPASS Initiative. This organization strives to educate people on HIV and reduce the number of those who contract the disease. Songs on the album are tied to specific causes, with the first being “Montero (Call Me by Your Name).” $5,000 in proceeds from this song went to Transinclusive Group, which helps support transgender and nonconforming individuals. “That’s What I Want,” raised $33,000 in donations for Bros in Convo, an organization in Florida that helps Black LGBTQ+ men. Am I Dreaming,” featuring Miley Cyrus donated to Miley’s Happy Hippy Foundation, a nonprofit to help unhoused youth, LGBTQ+ youth, and other at-risk communities. The song accumulated $6,960 in donations for the charity. Another amazing piece of Montero was the video for “Industry Baby'' featuring Jack Harlow. A whopping $59,000+ was raised from the video and donated to The Bail Project, which aims at combating mass incarceration. Lil Nas truly has the biggest heart! ❤️


Alicia Keys

Award winning, multi-platinum recording artist Alicia Keys has been an advocate for victims of HIV/AIDS for almost two decades now. It all began in 2002, when she paid a visit to Southern Africa to perform in a festival put on by MTV to fundraise as well as bring awareness to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Sub-Saharan Africa—the area where she would later base her charity—had an estimated 28,500,000 cases. Only 21 at the time, Alicia was blown away by the tragedy that had struck so many young people across the continent. In 2003, Alicia Keys founded Keep a Child Alive, an organization that aims to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable children, young people, adults and families around the world, with a focus on combating the physical, social and economic impacts of HIV/AIDS. The creation of this led to a sub organization called Operation Bobbi Bear, which helps children who have been abused. In 2004, Alicia began hosting an annual gala called The Keep a Child Alive Black Ball. This event alone has raised $28.7 million for the cause! Alicia is also very hands on with those that her contributions directly impact, taking many trips to Africa over the years to provide assistance. This girl is on fire! 🔥


will.i.am

The Black Eyed Peas singer has quite the philanthropic side! In 2009, will.i.am launched i.am.angel, a foundation that strives to transform lives through education, inspiration and opportunity. Several tracks exist within this organization. The i.am.home fund aims to assist those on the verge of losing their homes. The i.am.College Track helps send kids to college who may not have been able to attend otherwise. i.am STEAM provides underserved areas with science, technology, engineering, arts, and math programs to inspire children to pursue their dreams. Lastly, i.am Scholarship aids those involved in both the college and STEAM tracks so that they can go to college. This track has contributed over $1 million to the higher education of many. 🎓


We feel so honored to be able to share about these noble artists and their indescribable contributions to society. This does not even begin to touch the surface of all the hard work that these incredible artists are putting in to help their communities! They prove that music is about so much more than just our listening pleasure–it can literally change lives. These musicians are so inspiring, and we cannot wait to see how they continue to help shape the future and advocate to make the world a better place one step at a time. 💞


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