6 Rock Bands Fighting Against Global Poverty


TACOMA, Washington Many celebrities are well-known for contributing to charities that work to end global poverty. Due to their large following and access to resources, it is often easier for celebrities to mobilize others and raise money for a good cause. One group of celebrities that has been fighting against global poverty is rock bands. Bands play at charity concerts, donate part of their income and even start their own nonprofit organizations. Here are six rock bands’ charity efforts that have contributed to the fight against global poverty.

6 Rock Bands Making A Difference

  1. Coldplay: The British rock band Coldplay donated 10% of their first album profits to benefit those in need. The band then became well known for its charity work. The band members were avid supporters of Migrant Offshore Aid Station, a humanitarian organization that rescued people who had ended up in the middle of the ocean as a consequence of the 2015 refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe. Coldplay also organized charity concerts and donated the profits to aid Haiti’s infrastructure after the 2010 an earthquake and support the fight against HIV and Ebola in West Africa in 2016. Additionally, in 2015, Coldplay worked with the Global Poverty Project, an initiative by Global Citizen that urges countries to financially support education for girls who are not able to attend school. The band stated that education for all girls is important to improve life quality, independence and health for women. Global Citizen’s mission is to end extreme poverty by 2030. Within only three years, and due to actions such as the Global Poverty Project that Coldplay supported, Global Citizen was able to give more than $16.6 billion to those in need around the world.
  2. Linkin Park: Linkin Park is a successful American rock band that formed in 1996. Outside of their musical achievements, the band members also established the charity program Music for Relief in 2005. The program’s primary mission is to provide relief for communities impacted by natural disasters. Music for Relief’s efforts include supporting attempts to restore buildings and helping victims recover from their losses. The aid focuses on giving people the tools to rebuild their communities in a self-reliant and sustainable way. In the 16 years since Linkin Park created the program, Music for Relief has provided aid in more than 35 natural disaster response cases on six different continents and has supported long-term recovery in those areas.
  3. Maroon 5: The American pop rock band Maroon 5 has been doing active charity work for more than a decade. One of the band’s most notable achievements is #Maroon5Day, an annual event that was introduced in 2016. For five days, the band members motivated their fans to donate money to UNICEF. These donations assisted children without healthcare, clean water or education in 190 countries. In order to spread the word, the band asked their followers to share their contributions on social media with #Maroon5Day. Additionally, the band members mirrored the donations of the event’s last two days, doubling the money that UNICEF received. As a result of #Maroon5Day, a total of $57,176 was donated to UNICEF, which was then used to give impoverished children access to essential services, such as healthcare and education. This was a crucial factor in the effort to lift children out of extreme poverty.
  4. Pearl Jam: The Seattle-based rock band Pearl Jam has been around for more than 30 years, and its members have contributed a lot to charity during that time. Like many rock bands, Pearl Jam played at the Global Citizen Festival in 2015, an event to eradicate extreme poverty. That same year, during a performance in Brazil, front man Eddie Vedder announced that the band was going to donate $100,000 to people whose lives had been impacted by a deadly mudslide. The band also called for the end of violence against women in Colombia and advocated for their independence and self-sustainability. This means giving women the resources to take care of themselves without having to rely on others. The band members wore T-shirts with a print that demanded the end of violence against women and were met with applause and support. Photos and videos captured the moment, and Latin American media outlets quickly distributed the strong message. Finally, in 2017, Pearl Jam donated $75,000 to give food and support to Africans who were suffering from famine. By doing so, the band contributed to saving approximately 20 million people who were likely to have starved without help.
  5. Audioslave: The members of Audioslave further proved how important rock bands’ charity efforts are. The band members were eager to mobilize their fans to partake in activism and charities until frontman Chris Cornell died in 2017. Cornell was especially dedicated to supporting good causes. For example, he was a supporter of Global Angels, a program that promotes equity for people in less advantaged areas around the world and helps them achieve self-sustainability through improving healthcare and education. Furthermore, Cornell and his spouse established the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation five years prior to his death. The mission of the nonprofit was to raise awareness and provide aid for homeless, impoverished and abused children worldwide. The Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation also raised money to help other nonprofit organizations succeed with their charity work. One example is the International Rescue Committee (IRC). The IRC works with and for people who have lost their jobs, homes or worse from a humanitarian crisis. The IRC provides the resources and aid needed to recover from these disasters. In 2016 alone, the IRC was able to reach approximately 26 million people in need. Cornell was an avid supporter of the program and even donated all of the profits made from his music video “The Promise” to IRC.
  6. Fall Out Boy: The Chicago-based rock band Fall Out Boy financially contributed to psychological and emotional relief for children in Northern Uganda and supported the organization Invisible Children. Even more socially active than the rest of his band members was bassist Pete Wentz. In 2010, he was announced as the spokesperson for UNICEF’s Tap Project, a program aimed at preventing the deaths of children from unclean drinking water. The project has saved many lives since its establishment. As the project’s spokesperson, Wentz mobilized fans and activists to donate as little as $1 to the UNCEF project. This participation helped prevent the deaths of millions of children globally.

These six bands demonstrate that being a celebrity means more than performing on stage or recording music for entertainment. Instead, Coldplay, Linkin Park and the others utilize their public influence and financial advantage to help those in need. They also spread awareness when they mobilize their fans to do the same. These rock bands’ charity work significantly contributed to improving the lives of vulnerable groups. In addition, they have simultaneously set a good example for their fans and other musicians.

– Bianca Adelman
Photo: Wikimedia


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