Chance the Rapper and Bruno Mars.
Two of the biggest names in music and, as shown by their actions over the weekend, also two of the most generous.
The Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic in Chicago is the world’s largest and oldest African American parade. It focuses on the city’s youth and education and is seen as an annual back-to-school celebration.
Every year a Grand Marshal is chosen to oversee proceedings. This year, that honor went to Chicago’s own Chance the Rapper.
So it should come as no surprise that the man born as Chancellor Bennett would bring his penchant for local philanthropy to the parade.
Through his SocialWorks organization, that’s exactly what he did.
True to the youth-and-education Bud Billiken spirit, 30,000 backpacks full of back-to-school supplies were given out to local students.
While most people would consider such a gesture to be more than enough, Chance still had some of his daily quota of generosity left.
So, later that day, he gave a free concert to the city too.
On the same day – Saturday 12th August 2017 – Bruno Mars was performing in Auburn Hills, which sits halfway between Detroit and Flint, Michigan.
During the show, he addressed the crowd and made a special announcement: that he was to donate $1m in aid to Flint, to help continue the relief work being undertaken after the city’s water supply was contaminated.
The crowd, predictably, went wild.
Mars later released a statement reiterating his gesture, saying:
“I’m very thankful to the Michigan audience for joining me in supporting this cause. Ongoing challenges remain years later for Flint residents, and it’s important that we don’t forget our brothers and sisters affected by this disaster. As people, especially as Americans, we need to stand together to make sure something like this never happens in any community ever again.”
The crisis began in 2014 when the city’s water supply was switched to the Flint river as a money-saving initiative.
It had previously come from the Detroit river.
However, the change meant supplying contaminated water to households. As well as being discolored, it also contained high levels of bacteria, disinfectant, and lead.
12 deaths were reported after an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.
Like Chance the Rapper, Bruno Mars has a history of philanthropy, with a previous donation being given to help in the wake of the massive Typhoon Haiyan.
Other musicians who have donated to the cause in Flint include Eminem, Cher, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, and Mark ‘Marky Mark’ Wahlberg.