Many musicians use their status to give back and help others.
Be it through foundations they organize themselves or assisting existing organizations - many musicians do what they can to support causes close to their hearts. Often times, they'll use their talents as musicians to create hit songs or put on benefit concerts to raise awareness and money for causes. Sometimes they'll even call their followers and fans to action around certain causes. Either way, they do what they can to help.
Here are a just a few of the many artists who give back:
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis may not be making music together anymore, but the two continue to share a strong bond with their philanthropic acts and charity work.
Macklemore has supported around 12 charities, including; Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, Free The Children, GLSEN, GRAMMY Foundation. He also uses his music to help support campaigns and raise awareness about issues, such as his song “Same Love” which he created to address the homophobia he saw in the hip-hop community. In 2013 the singer also recorded a song for the ONE Campaign, urging people to take action against poverty and hunger.
In honor of his mother, who contracted HIV from a blood transfusion after giving birth to his sister, Ryan Lewis and his family founded the 30/30 Project. The project is centered around the idea that Healthcare is a Human Right and strives to "bring access to quality, affordable healthcare to those who need it most." Macklemore also backs the project
Ryan Lewis has supported around 8 charities, many of which Macklemore has also been involved with, as well as; MusiCares, SAMHSA, Save The Music Foundation and others.
Alicia Keys is a woman on fire when it comes to giving back. Alongside AIDS activist Leigh Blake, the 15-time Grammy Award-winning singer founded Keep a Child Alive, an organization which pushes to get HIV medication and support to children dying of AIDS in Africa.
“We must come together – individuals, governments, corporations, philanthropists and artists – as one and fight for the rights of children and families suffering unnecessarily from this dreadful disease,” she told guests at the 16th International AIDS Conference in Toronto in 2006.
Many other celebrities — including singer Janelle Monáe, actress Taraji P. Henson, athlete Laila Ali and filmmaker Lee Daniels — are also ambassadors with the Keep a Child Alive organization.
Along with Keep a Child Alive, Keys has supported around 30 charities in her life, including; Oxfam, DoSomething.org, Aid Still Required, Wellness In The Schools, YouthAIDS and many more.
Sir Elton John
Sir Elton John is a man who loves giving back. The artists has supported over 50 charities in his lifetime and founded the Elton John AIDS Foundation. He supports a variety of causes, mainly dealing with health, environment, and LGBT rights, among others.
After 13-year-old Ryan White was diagnosed with AIDs following a blood transfusion, Elton John did what he could to help, including helping White’s mother with a downpayment on a home and teaming up with Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick, and Gladys Knight to record the Grammy winning hit “That’s What Friends Are For.” Proceeds from the song were donated to the American Foundation for AIDS Research. Elton John later created the Elton John AIDS Foundation after White passed away in 1990 and Queen’s singer Freddy Mercury's died the next year. In 2014, Elton John teamed up with Build-a-bear Workshop to design a special edition bear to benefit Bobbi Bear, an organization that assists sexually abused children in South Africa.
Elton John also supports The Royal Academy of Music, which he attended, by supporting students through the Elton John Scholarship Fund. “I feel compelled to do everything that I can to assist the Academy in nurturing and developing these immensely talented, often impoverished, young people,” John says on his site.
Pop superstar Kesha is a huge animal rights advocate. Her love of animals and nature are major inspirations to her music and something she vows she will always fight to protect.
“My music is inspired by the freedom and primal beauty of animals and the natural world," she told the Humane Society International. "I take this opportunity incredibly seriously because we are ALL animals. One of the main underlying sentiments of my music is to respect all living creatures just as they are. I believe that together, we can change laws that allow innocent animals to be unjustly mistreated and abused all over the world."
A major personal cause for Kesha is the issue of street dogs. During her travels around the global, Kesha has seen the issue first-hand which has affected her in a big way, especially after one trip where she found two dogs super-glued together on an island with no vet or help available. She works closely with the Humane Society International's Street Dog Defender program on the issue.
Kesha has also used her voice to raise awareness on issues such as cosmetic testing on animal, shark finning, the slaughter of baby seal, dogfighting, coral reef protection, preservation of polar bears and so much more.
Red Rocker Sammy Hagar caught the "philanthropy bug" back when he was the frontman of Van Halen. During an event, Hagar heard about a 9-year-old boy who was supposed to attend, but whose leukemia prevented his attendance. Hagar ended up going to visit the boy and his family in the hospital. During the visit, Hagar learned of the hardships and loss the family had endured. Hagar decided to use his resources to help and the experience sparked a new outlook, sending him down the path of philanthropy.
Hagar and his wife, Kari, both help run the non-profit Hagar Family Foundation. The organization works to raise money for local food banks and charities in cities in which Hagar performs. The foundation is also partnered with Hagar's chain of restaurants, Sammy's Beach Bar & Grill, and he donates his personal proceeds back to The Foundation and other charities.
Every year, Hagar also hosts Acoustic-4-A-Cure, a benefit concert which raises money for the pediatric cancer program at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.
Hagar is regularly honored for his work in philanthropy and recently received the Humanitarian Award at the Loudwire Music Awards in Los Angeles this past October.
Amgen is a major advocate for a variety of health causes, including the fight against heart disease. Their current campaign, Breakaway from Heart Disease, provides necessary tools and resources to help improve heart health throughout America. Be sure to check out Breakaway from Heart Disease on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more information.