Rolling Stone reports each organization will receive $100,000. Comprised of entertainment and service workers, the donation will help with those who have been hit the hardest due to production and stores closing in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. The move to issue relief was also inspired by the passing of Manu Dibango, the legendary Afro-jazz saxophonist who died earlier this week from the virus in Paris.
Dibango’s career started in the 1950s, and he worked with the likes of Fela Kuti, Robbie Shakespeare, and others, but he’s perhaps most known for “Soul Makossa” – which along with being popular in its own right, was sampled by Michael Jackson on the Thriller hit “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin.'”
“This virus strikes at the heart of the communities we are close to,” John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson, said in a statement. “We learned today that the legendary Manu Dibango passed away from the virus. Other performers and support staff in music and on Broadway are sick or have been left without work and are facing an uncertain future. And in Las Vegas, which has been so welcoming to Michael Jackson, the entire city has been shut down leaving thousands of workers and their families devastated and without an income.”
“MusiCares is very grateful for the outpouring of generosity we’ve seen from many in the music industry to grow the COVID-19 Relief Fund,” Steve Boom, MusiCares chair, said in a statement to the outlet. “The challenges that our industry is facing right now are enormous. It is contributions such as these that will help our community survive in this unprecedented time of tremendous need.”