Forget the gold jewelry and strawberry champagne, Bruno Mars has something more important he’s spending his money on this month.
During a sold–out show at Michigan’s Palace of Auburn Hills in suburban Detroit on Saturday night, Mars announced that he and promoter Live Nation would donate $1 million in proceeds from the show to the Community Foundation of Greater Flint for people affected by the Flint water crisis, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“I’m very thankful to the Michigan audience for joining me in supporting this cause,” Mars said in a statement reported by ABC News. “Ongoing challenges remain years later for Flint residents, and it’s important that we don’t forget our brothers and sisters affected by this disaster. As people, especially as Americans, we need to stand together to make sure something like this never happens in any community ever again.”
The Auburn Hills show was part of Mars’ 24k Magic World Tour currently making its way through the Midwest.
Foundation president Isaiah M. Oliver said he is “touched” by Mars’ generosity. The foundation Oliver runs is helping to deal with the ongoing fallout from the 2014 Flint water crisis, which started when the city decided to use the Flint River as its source of water. That decision pumped high concentrations of lead through aging pipes into the water of the homes of mostly poor, black residents and caused an outbreak of Legionnaires disease that has claimed the lives of at least 12 people.
City and state officials then tried to cover it up and failed to adequately respond to the overwhelming health crisis, which continues today.
In June, Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon was charged with involuntary manslaughter and misconduct for failing to alert the public of the Legionnaires outbreak. More than a dozen other officials also were charged with crimes ranging from obstruction of justice to evidence tampering.