The Weeknd is donating $1 Million dollars to the relief efforts in Ethiopia. The African country has been undergoing a humanitarian crisis since November 2020 and innocent Ethiopian civilians have been negatively affected by the country’s political conflicts. The Weeknd is encouraging others to donate to the UN’s World Food Programme here.
The Weeknd took to IG and said, “My heart breaks for my people of Ethiopia as innocent civilians ranging from small children to the elderly are being senselessly murdered and entire villages are being displaced out of fear and destruction. I will be donating $1 million to provide 2 million meals through the United Nations World Food Program and encourage those who can to please give as well.”
This is not his first sizable donation over the past year. He was very charitable in June 2020 and donated $1 Million to COVID-19 relief efforts. He also donated $500,000 to a variety of nonprofit Black Lives Matter organizations as well. But this donation towards Ethiopia hits very close to home.
With two Ethiopian immigrant parents, The Weeknd has deeply personal ties to the African country. In an article with Rolling Stone in 2015, he stated that he attended church services with his grandma at their Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Canada. He also referenced, Ethiopian singer Aster Aweke, as a big influence on his vocal style and stated that Amharic was his first language.
It is clear that The Weeknd truly cares about his family and their history in Ethiopia, and that his sizable donation is more than just a publicity stunt.
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Grant Boyer is a hip hop head at heart from Chicago, IL. Some of his all-time favorite artists are J. Cole, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, and Biggie. When he’s not writing, he’s playing his Nintendo Switch, watching Seinfeld reruns, and collecting vinyl and cool hip hop collectibles. The coolest hip hop collectible he owns is an original Jay-Z Dead Presidents cassette from 1995. He’s also wondering if anybody has a working cassette player he can borrow.