The Weeknd makes some heavy donations to worthwhile causes

August 15, 2016

Abel Tesfaye (aka The Weeknd) is a pretty low-key guy for a pop star. Despite his massive 2015 year, the Toronto R&B singer has been quite protective of his private life and does interviews sparingly, much to the chagrin of many a member of the Canadian media. Basically, it’s unlikely that you’ll hear about Tesfaye unless it’s something that has to do with the actual business of making music, putting it out, or playing it. But this past week, he’s made the news a couple times for some very generous donations.

First, he donated $50,000 to the University of Toronto to help start an Ethiopic Studies program. The Toronto Star reports that the Bikila Award organization reached out to Tesfaye, who’s from the Toronto suburb of Scarborough, looking for some help when U of T professor Michael Gervers (Department of Historical and Cultural Studies) pledged to donate his own $50,000 if the Ethiopian Community and the university could match it. In 2014, Tesfaye actually received the Professional Excellence Award from Bikila Award.

The second came just a few days later when Tesfaye donated a whopping $250,000 to the Black Lives Matter Network, which contains a chapter that’s based in Toronto. In July, Tesfaye tweeted in solidarity with the movement soon after the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

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About the Author

Matt Williams

Matt Williams is a writer and photographer. Born and raised on the Prairies in Winnipeg, he’s slowly made his way farther and farther east, spending a few years covering music in Toronto before running clear out of country and ending up on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. In between, he’s made numerous detours, interviewing and photographing countless artists across North America and beyond. He heads up Amplify’s Instrumental series, where he talks with musicians about the relationships they’ve formed with their most important tools.

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