We can’t turn around without seeing some new story about Bono donating to yet another charity. He, and other non-profit golden boys Sting, Elton John and Eric Clapton have not only maintained enormously successful music careers, but also to dedicate their lives to the needy around the world.
They’re good guys; we get it.
Not to say the €9.6 million—more than $12 million—collected (only about $155,500 of which actually made it to charities) by Bono’s massive charity efforts are in any way bad.
While everyone is busy focusing on Bono-mania, we’re overlooking other hardcore charity supporting artists who deserve a little love.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Before the Chili Peppers was born, the band members were just a bunch of punks out of California. They grew up getting kicked out of school, drinking too much and getting into drugs—lots of drugs.
The RHCP struggled for more than a decade with drug addictions that started with the band’s unexpected success in the ’80s.
Since getting clean, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are avid supporters of rehab programs and music education for underprivileged kids.
They tried to get serious about kicking their habits after original guitarist, Hillel Slovak, died of a heroin overdose in 1988, but it took singer Anthony Kiedis two more years to finally sober up. Since getting clean, the members are avid supporters of rehab programs and music education for underprivileged kids.
In 2001, Flea worked with a friend, Keith Barry, to start up Silverlake Conservatory of Music with the goal of providing affordable or free music lessons and equipment rental to the children of Silverlake, Calif. The Conservatory also provides scholarships to children whose families wouldn’t normally be able to take on the cost of music lessons.
In 2010, Flea auctioned off two 30-minute bass lessons, with proceeds benefitting the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center. The band focuses a lot of aid to local charities around the L.A. area because it’s where they all met and grew up.
Since 2000, RHCP have donated a quarter of their tour profits to different charities, but the most memorable was a concert for Flea’s daughter’s 10th birthday. The band donned drag and put on their own show as the Spice Girls, with Flea as Baby Spice, Frusciante as Sporty, the band’s drum tech as Scary Spice and Kiedis as Posh. Probably not what a crowd of 10- and 11-year-olds were expecting when dad said the Spice Girls were coming.
What does home mean to you?
Rapper, actor, musician and producer will.i.am challenges Americans to help those in jeopardy of losing their homes because of the economic recession through the i.am home fund.
Raised in the projects of East L.A., all will.i.am hoped to do after making it big was buy his family a home so they would not have to worry about payments.
The 2010 launch of the foundation was just as big as the project it hopes to tackle. Will appeared on “Oprah” to announce the fund would be completely paying off mortgages for two families on the brink of foreclosure.
For inspiration for the fund, will.i.am looked to the past. Raised in the projects of East L.A., all he hoped to do after making it big was buy his family a home so they would not have to worry about payments. Now that a home for mom is checked off his list, he’s onto helping other families in economic hell.
2010 was a big year for Will. In March, he teamed up with Yvonne Chaka Chaka, the singer to know in Africa, to devise the MASSIVEGOOD charity movement.
MASSIVEGOOD targets those looking to make a massive impact with a little donation. Whenever travelers book a flight, hotel, rental car or other travel products through any participating sites, $2 is automatically donated toward major global health causes. The charity’s website says $2 will cure two children of malaria, and $50 can provide an entire year of antiretroviral treatments.
Time to start racking up those frequent flyer miles.
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
McGraw’s father, Tug, was given three weeks to live after he collapsed while working as an instructor for the Philadelphia Phillies spring training in 2003. He was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
Tug lost his battle nine months later, but not before he was able to create the Tug McGraw Foundation.
The charity works to improve the quality of life of those with brain tumors, and in 2009 widened its scope to include funding for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.
In 2009 Tim and his wife Faith Hill were asked to co-chair and perform at Country United, a two-day event that included the Partnership for Military Medicine Symposium and the Country United Gala. Proceeds from the events went to support the Wounded Warrior Project.
The country duo established the Neighbor’s Keeper Foundation, which would provide funding for community charities to assist with basic humanitarian services after a natural disaster.
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, McGraw and Hill (who is originally from Mississippi) joined groups delivering supplies to the Gulf Coast. Later that year, the country duo established the Neighbor’s Keeper Foundation, which would provide funding for community charities to assist with basic humanitarian services after a natural disaster.
What McGraw is most known for, isn’t necessarily what generated the most money. Starting in 1999, the artist would choose different cities on his tours, and the night before his scheduled performance, he would select a local club and host a loosely orchestrated show. All proceeds were donated to a charity from that particular community. The impromptu gigs became known as “The Bread and Water Tour.”
Instead of sticking with just one cause, the rockers from Seattle cover all the bases by donating to a lot of very different charities. The band does a lot of work supporting research for Crohn’s, mainly because Mike McCready—the band’s lead guitarist—has the disease.
They play concerts and auction off merch, and donate all proceeds to charities like the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America and Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness.
Pearl Jam does a lot of work supporting research for Crohn’s, mainly because Mike McCready—the band’s lead guitarist—has the disease.
In 2008, the band raised an ungodly $3 million with just one charity concert at New York’s Beacon Theater.
If you thought regular tickets have skyrocketed lately, people who wanted floor seats for this one dished out as much as to $2,500, but it was all for the cause. Every cent from the concert went to the Robin Hood Foundation, a fund that supports poverty-fighting organizations in New York City.
With the 2009 release of Backspacer, Pearl Jam buddied up with Target and eco-friendly clothing designer, Loomstate, to produce a limited edition Backspacer T-shirt.
The shirt featured a screen-printed design from Tom Tomorrow, a well-known cartoonist whose comic strips appear in 90-plus newspapers in the U.S. and Canada.
All proceeds benefitted Feeding America, an aptly named hunger-relief foundation.
Back in 1999, the band released their cover of Wayne Cochran’s “Last Kiss,” and announced all proceeds from the single would support refugees of the Kosovo War.
The band also included the track on the compilation album, No Boundaries: A Benefit for the Kosovar Refugees.
In all, the song earned nearly $10 million, all of which aided Kosovo refugees.
With Rolling Stone naming Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy as 2010’s best album, it’s only fitting the artist would spread a little holiday cheer.
In November, he made a stop at the eighth annual New Yorkers for Children “Wrap to Rap” benefit and helped wrap some of the 2,000 gifts donated by Walmart.
An avid supporter of efforts to counteract poverty, hunger and poor education, West co-founded the Kanye West Foundation with his mother, the late Dr. Donda West.
The foundation challenges at-risk students to learn how to write and produce music, while improving their academic capabilities.
Loop Dreams was the debut program that teaches participating students to produce music, write lyrics and dance. Underneath that, the program promotes communication skills, financial literacy, goal setting and time management.
Because of the success the foundation has had with Loop Dreams, two more programs were added: College Drop In and S.H.O.W.
S.H.O.W., or Students Helping Our World, is the brainchild of a Chicago high school student who was inspired by a story on NPR about a mother coercing her son to keep his grades up for free tickets to see Lil Wayne. He then created the organization to put on free concerts as long as students do well in school.
Currently, the charity’s website features videos and songs produced by students it has impacted.