Jay-Z Honored With United Nations Humanitarian Award

October 2, 2008 2:15 PM ET

Jay-Z was presented with a United Nations special humanitarian award at a ceremony earlier this week in New York. The ceremony's host, actor Michael Douglas, presented Jigga with the award, which honored him for his raising funds and awareness for the world's water crisis. At the heart of his contributions was a 2006 world tour and MTV documentary in which Hova brought more awareness to the water epidemic and created 1,000 pumps in African communities. "If you bring awareness to young people, they're going to see and want to be involved," Jay-Z said back in 2006. "I'm not a politician; I'm just a regular person with a heart. If you see a problem like that and do nothing about it, there's something wrong with you."

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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