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The Weeknd donates $1m towards fight against Ethiopia famine

The Weeknd has condemned the ‘senseless’ conflict in Ethiopia (Picture: Getty Images)

The Weeknd has proven to have a big heart after generously donating $1million (£722,000) to fight hunger in Ethiopia. 

The Blinding Lights singer penned a heartfelt post condemning the ‘senseless’ conflict in the country. 

It is reported that around two million people have been displaced in the area of Tigray due to political tensions between locals and the Government, resulting in deaths and famine. 

In his Instagram post, The Weeknd said: ‘My heart breaks for my people of Ethiopia as innocent civilians ranging from small children to the elderly are being senselessly murdered and entire villages are being displaced out of fear and destruction.’ 

He then announced: ‘I will be donating $1 million to provide two million meals through the United Nations World Food Programme and encourage those who can to please give as well.’ 

The Weeknd, real name Abel Tesfaye, has Ethiopian heritage as both his parents are from the African nation. He was born in Canada but grew up speaking Amharic, the country’s official language. 

In 2015, The Weeknd opened up about growing up in an Ethiopian household and revealed the culture was very much a part of his upbringing. 

Speaking to OkayAfrica, he revealed: ‘My mother, my grandmother, my uncles would play Ethiopian artists like Aster Aweke and Mulatu Astatke all the time in the house. They would drink coffee, eat popcorn, and listen to the music. 

‘The feeling in my music and in my voice is very Ethiopian and very African and much more powerful than anything, technically… That’s the Ethiopian side of me.’ 

He added: ‘I’ve never been back home to Ethiopia, but when I do go I’m going to make it very special.’

The United Nations World Food Programme said in a statement: ‘The outbreak of conflict in Tigray last November coincided with the peak harvest period, leading to lost employment and incomes, disrupted markets, a rise in food prices, and limited access to cash and fuel to support 1.4m of these vulnerable people before it’s too late.’ 

The Can’t Feel My Face hitmaker is known for his philanthropic efforts and also donated $1m towards Covid-19 relief in June. The funds were split with $500k (£361k) going towards MusiCares and the rest to a hospital in Ontario, Canada. 

Just two months later, he then handed over $300k (£217k) to Global Aid following the devastating bomb explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, which left 220 people dead. 

The Weeknd is enjoying the most lucrative period of his career after claiming one of the biggest selling songs of 2020 with his monster hit Blinding Lights. The 31-year-old also headlined the Super Bowl halftime show in February. 

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