The Weeknd is set to receive the Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award at the first annual Music in Action Awards on September 23.
According to the Black Music Action Coalition, which is organizing the event, the awards honor musicians, music executives, and music businesses that have made the most significant contributions to social justice, change, and/or equity over the preceding year.
The award recognizes Weeknd’s charitable efforts during the pandemic. In June 2020, he donated $200,000 to both the Black Lives Matter Global Network and the Colin Kaepernick Know Your Rights Legal Defense Camp. The “Blinding Lights” singer also donated $100,000 to the National Bail Out Collective.
The R&B superstar also donated $500,000 to hospital workers of the Scarborough Health Network in his native Canada amid the pandemic and an additional $500,000 to MusiCares, the philanthropic partner of the Recording Academy.
In April 2021, The Weeknd announced that he would donate $1 million for hunger relief in his parents’ native Ethiopia.
The Black Music Action Coalition will also present the Berry Gordy Social Impact Award, Clarence Avant Trailblazer Award and Agent of Change Award to other honorees.
“BMAC promised to work with the music industry to advance racial equity, and are proud to have done everything we said we would do,” said BMAC co-chairperson, artist manager and executive Binta Niambi Brown. “Now, while we celebrate the achievements of our industry, we also look forward to continued work with every company in our industry to eliminate all forms of systemic and structural racism.”
She added, “We welcome conversations with all who share our commitment to justice and equality and are enthusiastic about the change we will create together.”
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