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David Bowie’s Dedication to the Fight Against AIDS

(Image by Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com)

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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Organizations

South African Billionaire Gives $10 Million to Fight HIV/AIDS

Patrice Motsepe
Patrice Motsepe. IMG: Flickr via World Economic Forum

Patrice Motsepe, who is a South African Billionaire, has given $10 million to help in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. During the World Economic Forum gathering in Davos, Switzerland, the mining tycoon announced his donation to U2 singer and activist Bono, founder of (RED) campaign.

South Africa, where Motsepe is from, has one of the world’s highest HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rates. Roughly 6 million people, more than 17% of the country’s population, live with the virus according to the World Health Organization.

(RED) has raised more than $240 million since is founding in 2006 to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The funds are used for programs in eight African countries – South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia.

Motsepe, who made the gift through his Motsepe Family Foundation, applauded (RED) founder Bono, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other leading donors for the contributions they have made in fighting HIV/AIDS, but noted that there is still a lot of work to be done. ”Bono, the Gates Foundation, The Global Fund and various other donors and governments have done outstanding work in the fight against HIV/Aids, malaria and tuberculosis, but there is still a lot of work to be done,” Motsepe was quoted as saying.

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Organizations Profiles

Elton John & Billie Jean King Raise $700K for AIDS Support

Elton John Helps Raise $700K for AIDS Support
anyamuse / Shutterstock.com

The 21st Annual Mylan World TeamTennis Smash Hits charity event had many famous faces this year: Venus Williams, Elton John, Billie Jean King, Andy Roddick, Marion Bartoli, and more. The celebrities participated in a variety of singles and doubles tennis matches on Nov. 17th in Orlando, FL, to raise money for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Hope and Help Center of Central Florida.

A total of 3,662 guests were in attendance at the event, which raised more than $700,000 for the two organizations. And though there were pros like Williams and King playing in the matches, the event was lighthearted and fun.

“It’s not your typical tennis match, said John Isner, who is the top-ranked American male tennis player. “It’s more of a basketball game type feel.”

“It brakes the monotony of just going out there and playing a typical match with your typical crowd, where it’s very quiet,” he added. Indeed, music played between points, the crowd cheered, and players egged each other on throughout the day. And celebrities like Elton John might not have been up to par with the pros, but the crowd went just as wild for his big plays—like hitting the ball for the first time.

The Hope & Help Center of Central Florida aims to save lives through treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS in Central Florida. It was established in 1988 and today has eight locations throughout Florida. The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) was established by Sir Elton John in 1992, and has headquarters in both New York City and London. The U.S. and U.K. organizations function as separate entities with the same mission: “to reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS” through various prevention programs, treatment, support services, and more.