Bruno Mars donated $1 million to help Flint with its ongoing water crisis. The singer made the announcement Saturday night during his show in suburban Detroit.
Billboard reports that Mars was closing out his set at the Palace of Auburn Hills arena with his hit “Just The Way You Are” when he revealed the donation to the crowd.
“This is why we love what we do,” the R&B star told the audience. “We get a chance to go up on stage every night and perform … and the fact that we can show up here and celebrate under one roof together, all this positive energy that’s flowing. This is the world we want to live in.”
Mars later wrote in a statement, “I’m very thankful to the Michigan audience for joining me in supporting this cause. 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.”
Live Nation, the promoter of Mars’ current 24K Magic World Tour, said that revenues from Mars’ concert were redirected to the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, a nonprofit that aids with the city’s water crisis relief effort.
“With a grateful heart, the Community Foundation of Greater Flint is honored to accept this inspiring donation,” the organization’s president and CEO Isaiah M. Oliver said following Mars’ gift. “We know Bruno Mars’ $1 million gift will be transformative to the children and families of Flint. He understands the issues faced by Flint citizens, and we are touched by his concern and generosity.”
Flint’s water woes started in April 2014, when the city switched its water source from Lake Huron to the nearby and notoriously polluted Flint River, which was contaminated with bacteria and high levels of lead. Roughly 100,000 residents were exposed to tainted water and nearly 100 cases of Legionnaires’ disease, including 12 deaths, resulted from the switch.
Five state officials have been charged with involuntary manslaughter for their connection with the crisis.
On Sunday, Mars posted an Instagram photo with the caption, “God bless you Michigan!”