Canadian musician, The Weeknd, has pledged $1 million to Ethiopia’s World Food Programme. He announced the news on April 4 in an Instagram post, which detailed how he plans to aid those entangled in the conflict between the government in Addis Ababa and the Tigray region.
The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye was born to Ethiopian parents, who immigrated to Toronto, Canada in the ’80s, where the artist was born and raised.
“My heart breaks for my people of Ethiopia as innocent civilians ranging from small children to the elderly are being senselessly murdered and entire villages are being displaced out of fear and destruction,” The “Blinding Lights” singer wrote. “I will be donating $1 million to provide 2 million meals through the United Nations World Food Programme and encourage those who can to please give as well.”
An internal report from the United States government claimed that the intention of the conflict, which has killed thousands and left others without homes and basic necessities, was to remove the ethnic Tigrayan population from Ethiopia, per The New York Times. The Ethiopian government strongly denied the accusations of ethnic cleansing.
Fans applauded his actions in the comments section. One wrote, “The weekend out here doing what most billionaires and CEO’s of multimillion dollar companies would turn a blind eye to. Respect man, we love you.” Another added, “lets just appreciate this man for a second, the fact he takes the time out if his day to do these amazing selfless acts to help out others is what makes me proud to be a fan of him.”
A third commented, “True King using his platform for good. We need people like you. Prayers for all the innocent Ethiopians and may our part help as much as they need it.”
The 3-time Grammy winner recently made headlines when he took a stand against what he perceived to be unfairness in the Grammys selection process after his 2021 Grammys snub. He told The New York Times in March, “Because of the secret committees, I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys.”
He previously wrote on Twitter after his critically-acclaimed and commercially-beloved album After Hours failed to receive any nominations at the awards show, “The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…”