The singer The Weeknd has shown his most supportive side this weekend by announcing that he has donated a million dollars in food aid for Ethiopia, one of the poorest and most punished countries in Africa that has claimed the lives of thousands of civilians since violence broke out last November. “My heart breaks for my people in Ethiopia, as innocent civilians, from young children to the elderly, are being senselessly murdered and entire villages are being displaced by fear and destruction,” the singer wrote on Instagram, encouraging others to provide aid.
The artist, real name Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, 31 years old and Canadian national has Ethiopian descent, as his parents were born in Ethiopia before emigrating to Canada. Now, The Weeknd has partnered with the US World Food Program, a section of the UN’s World Food Program, to send more than a million dollars for food and humanitarian aid programs in the African country. According to his household goods, the money he has provided to this organization is equivalent to two million meals for the citizens who have been trapped between the opposing military factions.
This is not the first time that the interpreter of Blinding Lights contribute to a cause of solidarity. After confinement due to the coronavirus pandemic, the artist donated one million dollars last June to fight against the covid; and in August, it contributed $ 300,000 to the global Aid for Lebanon campaign for victims of a massive explosion in Beirut that killed more than 200 people. Following George Floyd’s assassination in May 2020, The Weeknd also donated half a million dollars to various racial justice groups: Black Lives Matter Global Network, Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp, and the National Bail Out Collective, which helps defend the those arrested during racial protests in the United States.
The Canadian has shown his concern about police violence against black people in the United States on more than one occasion and in 2016 his support for these movements was reflected when he allocated 225,000 euros to the Black Lives Matter. It was not the only large donation he made that year, as in August 2016 he gave another $ 50,000 (44,689 euros) to the University of Toronto to help the Ethiopian study program.
A solidary facet that intersperses with that of a winner in music. The Weeknd has been in business for a decade, although it started to take off in 2013, when it released its first studio album, Kiss Land, and especially in 2015, with the album Beauty Behind the Madness. From there came the awards and recognitions, such as three Grammys or nine Billboards. One of his great milestones was the Oscar nomination in 2016 for the subject Earned It of the movie Fifty Shades of Grey, although he lost to Sam Smith by Spectre.
Another important step in his artistic career came last February when he performed in the Super Bowl 2021 halftime, the most important television showcase in the United States. This musician, producer, revolutionary of the rhythm and blues of the last decade and an artist accustomed to reaching the top of the charts, who in November starred in a controversy for classifying the Grammy Awards as corrupt and discriminatory by not receiving any nominations for this year, had been characterized until then for being a discreet man. From his beginnings it is known that he left home very early to make a living, selling marijuana and stealing from supermarkets to feed himself. In his youth he was arrested for beating a police officer in Las Vegas and was sentenced to 50 hours of community service.
He is not given to talking about his private life or giving interviews, although his love life has also led him to magazines and tabloids. In 2015 he dated model Bella Hadid and together they hit the red carpet at the Grammys the following year. Shortly thereafter they broke up due to alleged incompatibilities, but it quickly emerged that he had a relationship with Selena Gomez, which lasted a little less than a year.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.