15 Times Black Artists Used Their Voices To Change The World

Sometimes, recording artists are more than just hit songs and fashion trends. 

Recently, Janelle Monae leveraged her public platform by leading a rally against police violence. Drake performed an act of kindness prior to his rap battle with Philly’€™s own Meek Mill when he donated money to a local high school to build a recording studio for students. 

We’ve decided to highlight what notable black artists really stand for.

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    Queen Bey isn’t only known for running the world with her chart-topping hits, she also provided housing for Hurricane Katrina victims in 2005 through her Survivor Foundation. 

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    The Black Eyed Peas frontman’s i.am.angel foundation provides financial support for college students through its scholarship program. Since its launch in 2009, the program has awarded more than $800,000 to qualifying students in need of financial support, according to the organization’s website. 

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    Established as a public charity in 2003 with his mother, Gloria Carter, Jay Z’s Shawn Carter Foundation has provided annual college tours, counseling initiatives, and other programs to empower youth and communities in need.

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    In 2003, Alicia Keys co-founded the Keep a Child Alive foundation in an effort to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa and India.

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    Following a string of performances during his 2015 Louis Vuitton Foundation concert series, Kanye West donated $133,000 of the event’s proceeds to Chicago arts institution, Donda’€™s House.

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    After landing success on the music charts, the Senegalese-American singer is planning to bring electricity to 600 million people in Africa through his Akon Lighting Africa initiative. To supplement the campaign, the mogul launched the “Solar Academy” in 2015 to give African engineers and entrepreneurs the skills needed to develop solar power on the continent.  

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    Not only did Kendrick Lamar team up with Reebok to design his own line of sneakers this year, the Compton native also aims to leverage his partnership to assist the youth. Together, Lamar and the sneaker giant will develop programs designed to keep kids off the streets.

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    Prince performed during the ‘€˜Rally 4 Peace’€™ concert following the death of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray, who died from spinal cord injuries he sustained during an arrest. A portion of the concert’s proceeds went towards the funding of Baltimore youth charities.

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    In honor of her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Brathwaite, the international pop star launched the Clara Lionel Foundation (CLF) in 2012 to provide grant funds promoting health, education, arts and culture globally.



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    Prior to his rap battle with Philly’€™s own Meek Mill, the Toronto native donated $75,000 to the city’€™s Strawberry Mansion High School to build a recording studio for students.

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