Photo by Bang Showbiz

The Weeknd will receive the Quincy Jones Humanitarian award at the first annual Music in Action Awards on September 23rd.

The award honours “musicians, music executives, and music businesses that have made the most significant contributions to social justice, change, and/or equity over the preceding year,” and The Weeknd certainly fits the bill.

The ‘Blinding Lights’ hitmaker will be among the honourees at the Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC)’s event at the 1 Hotel in West Hollywood, in recognition of the many donations and campaigns he has been involved with since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Known for his air of mystery, the 31-year-old seems to prefer actions over words, supporting important causes through sizable donations. Since the pandemic started, the Weeknd has donated several million dollars to a variety of causes. Among the organizations that have received his support is the Colin Kaepernick Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative, to which he donated $200,000 in support of those who were arrested or fell prey to police brutality while protesting the extrajudicial murders of Black people. He also donated $100,000 to the National Bail Out, a collective of Black abolitionist organizers working to end mass incarceration. In addition, the singer donated $500,000 each to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund and frontline health workers within the Scarborough Health Network. Last April, the star announced a $1 million donation for hunger relief in his parents’ native Ethiopia.

The Music in Action awards recognize artists, executives, and businesses in the industry which have made the most significant contributions to social justice, equity and change over the last year. The awards also highlight the new Music Industry Action Report Card, an assessment of what progress has been made in achieving racial justice and equity in the 12 months since the music business pledged to make strides in eliminating racial inequality in the industry.

BMAC Co-Chair, artist manager and executive Binta Niambi Brown said: “BMAC promised to work with the music industry to advance racial equity, and are proud to have done everything we said we would do. 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.

“We welcome conversations with all who share our commitment to justice and equality and are enthusiastic about the change we will create together.”

Jeffrey Azoff, co-chair of BMAC’s ELC and CEO/founder of Full Stop Management, added, “The work that BMAC is doing is nothing short of inspiring. I am beyond humbled to be able to serve as co-chair of the Executive Leadership Council as I have no doubt that this group of people is dedicated to making a positive change in our industry for generations to come.”

Shawn Holiday, co-chair of BMAC’s ELC, Full Stop Management and president of Giant Records, said: “This event will be a powerful night to honor our peers who have done the work to make a difference in our industry and broader society.”

—Reuters

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