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David Bowie’s Dedication to the Fight Against AIDS

(Image by Ritu Manoj Jethani /

Among his many other talents and accomplishments, musician David Bowie was also a dedicated servant of the fight against AIDS. Together with his wife, model Iman Abdulmajid, Bowie helped raise AIDS awareness around the globe as well as tackle the problems of famine in Africa. His history of philanthropic giving was long, successful, and inspirational. Here’s a look back at some of his charitable achievements.

Bowie and Iman supported the Keep a Child Alive Foundation, intended to spread awareness to HIV/AIDS. The charity works to reduce infections in children by combating physical, social, and economic challenges that lead to its spreading. Iman served as a global ambassador for the foundation and for their I Am Africa Campaign. The last performance Bowie gave was in 2006 for the Keep a Child Alive Foundation’s Black Ball gala.

Bowie performed at many concerts for charitable causes, participating in global tours to that effect. He was featured in a 1985 Live Aid concert, which generated significant funds to minimize some of the dangers of AIDS and mitigate the risk of contraction. In the 90s, both Bowie and Iman also took part in a 7th on Sale fundraising event to benefit HIV/AIDS research. They were themselves continuous donors.

Additionally, Bowie used some of his career to work toward racial equality. His 1989 album Tin Machine directly opposed Neo-Nazism. In a 1983 interview with MTV, Bowie was highly critical against the network’s lack of diversity and unwillingness to cover the work of black musicians.

In 1998, Iman teamed up with rapper Missy Elliott, also a dedicated philanthropist, to create Misdemeanor Lipstick, a cosmetic line that dedicated proceeds to Break the Cycle. The organization helped minimize domestic hardships and abuse against teenagers and young children to help them live better, safer lives.

Finally, Bowie ensured that before his death from liver cancer on January 10th, all proceeds from January sales of his brand-new album Blackstar would go towards Cancer Research U.K.

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