He knows how to make money, but Diddy has no problem giving it away. In October he made an "undisclosed donation" to the Boys' and Girls' Club of Harlem, a place where he spent time while he was just little Sean Combs. The money helped the club from being shut down. He also committed $100,000 in February to the 100 Urban Entrepreneurs Foundation to support the cultivation of young up-and-coming business owners. In 2003 he raised more $2 million dollars in the New York Marathon that he donated to New York schools and programs that serve children infected with HIV and AIDs.
This songbird is the epitome of selfless when it comes to her efforts to help underserved youth. She co-founded Camp Mariah, giving disadvantaged children a chance to explore the arts and guidance on their future careers. She has performed various charity performances including Live 8 in London, and the Shelter from the Storm telethon for victims of Hurricane Katrina. In November she announced that she would be the Celebrity Brand Ambassador to the American Heart Association's My Heart. My Life initiative. She too will join Mary J. Blige as a VH1 Diva for Charity later this month.
Most NBA players only dream of obtaining a championship ring, and once they do they would never think of letting it go. Not Ron Artest. The Los Angeles Laker has been an advocate for mental health, and garnered attention in 2010 when he chose to give away his first championship ring for the highest bidder. He was able to raise $500,000 which was donated to support his Xcel University that aids youth at risk for mental health issues. Artest who struggled with his own mental health problems, also considered donating his 2011-2012 NBA salary to mental health causes as well.
Easily one of the hardest working women in the business, Beyoncé has committed to various philanthropic duties over the years. In 2010, she opened the Beyoncé Cosmetology Center of the Phoenix House Career Academy in Brooklyn, New York. The program provides a seven-week training for women who recently completed drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs. She provides $100,000 a year so that the program runs effectively. Earlier this year she also supported Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative to combat childhood obesity.
Mary J. Blige partnered with Steve Stoute in 2008 in jump starting the Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now also known as FFWAN. The organization gives women support and resources through educational programs, career development, self-esteem and personal growth. The following year she opened her Mary J. Blige Center for Women in her hometown of Yonkers, New York through her organization. In July upon release of her My Life Blossom Eau de Parfum, she donated a dollar for each bottle purchased. In October she announced as one of the VH1 Divas for charity.
This year John Legend, away from his music, went on an education campaign as spokesperson for the Communities in Schools, an organization that is known for preventing high school dropouts and also encouraging community support for schools. He frequently performs at charity concerts including The Black Eyed Peas Peapod Charity Benefit Concert this year. Legend was also one of many celebrities who supported Troy Dravis before his execution through Amnesty USA.
Although newer to the scene than everyone on this list, 17-year-old Justin Bieber is developing a kind heart to help people. He recently released a charity Christmas album Under The Mistletoe that reached number one. He also launched the Believe Charity Drive with the goal of raising millions of dollars before he releases his next album Believe in 2012. The foundations who will benefit from the money include Boys' and Girl's Clubs of America, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Grammy Foundation, all organizations that will give back to education, young people and music.
Jay-Z most recently announced he would be performing for charity at Carnegie Hall for tickets that run at $500-$2500 a pop. The money raised at the concert will fund college scholarships and aid in funding a program aiming to resolve the high dropout rates of New York City high school students. This would not be his first time performing for charity. In 2006 he raised over $250,000 at his concert in New York City that benefitted PlayPumps International, whom donates water systems to African communities in need of clean water. He also has a charity with his mom Gloria Carter, the Shawn Carter Foundation, which provides scholarships and college tours for the youth.
Alicia Keys has parted major waves in the battle against AIDS, as the ambassador for Keep A Child Alive, which she has worked abroad and visited young people who lost their parents to the virus. She has heavily spread awareness in her music, at concerts, and in campaigns about the experiences she experienced in her travels in Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa. Annually she holds a Black Ball for charity in New York, which she raised $400,000 in funds for the organization this past November.