The Weeknd Donates $250,000 to Black Lives Matter Network

Source: AP
Source: AP

The Weeknd is dropping stacks lately, but not on the club spread that the sexually charged R&B crooner usually sings about. The Grammy-winner has donated $250,000 to the Black Lives Matter movement, less than a week after donating $38,000 to get University of Toronto's Ethiopian Studies program up and running, the Fader reported Wednesday.

The money will go to the Black Lives Matter Network, which describes itself on its website as "a chapter-based national organization" currently "working to (re)build the Black liberation movement."

Not usually one to inject political narratives into his musical work, the Weeknd's latest donations speak louder than words — but lately he's had some of those, too. Following the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile this year, The Weeknd took to Twitter to compel his followers to act. "Enough is enough. It's time to stand up for this," he wrote. "We can either sit and watch, or do something about it. The time is now. #BlackLivesMatter." 

He followed that up with another tweet: "#BlueLivesMurder."

His donation follows the likes of Jay Z and the other major artists associated with the streaming service Tidal, who donated $1.5 million to the BLM Network (and several other social justice charities).

Regarding his University of Toronto donation, the Ethopian-Canadian singer explained his goal via Twitter: "Sharing our brilliant and ancient history of Ethiopia," the Weeknd wrote in a post.

The singer then linked to a site that explains the importance of the program that the university is trying to build. "The recognition of our stories as being worthy of scholarly endeavor by a world-renowned institution will have a significant impact on our collective self-image as we establish ourselves and search for our identity in the diaspora," it reads.

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Chris Riotta

Chris Riotta is a culture reporter at Mic, covering news, music and entertainment. He is based in New York and can be reached at criotta@mic.com

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