The Michael Jackson Estate will donate $300,000 to help three communities that have been impacted by COVID-19. The estate will give $100,000 each to Broadway Cares, Nevada’s Three Square Food Bank and MusiCares.
“This virus strikes at the heart of the communities we are close to,” John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson, said in a statement. “We learned today that the legendary Manu Dibango passed away from the virus. Other performers and support staff in music and on Broadway are sick or have been left without work and are facing an uncertain future. And in Las Vegas, which has been so welcoming to Michael Jackson, the entire city has been shut down leaving thousands of workers and their families devastated and without an income.”
They added, “Michael’s spirit of generosity and helping others during his lifetime is legendary. These donations are inspired by him.”
In New York, the Michael Jackson Estate is answering the challenge made by more than 20 Broadway producers who are matching up to $1 million in donations to double contributions to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund.
“With every passing day that theaters remain dark, entertainment and performing arts professionals face unprecedented and immediate challenges,” Tom Viola, executive director Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, said in a statement. “This incredibly generous donation from the Michael Jackson Estate will help ensure those onstage, backstage and behind the scenes get lifesaving health care, emergency financial assistance and counseling during and after this crisis.”
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In Las Vegas, the Estate’s donation will provide 300,000 meals to those in need and help to maintain Three Square Food Bank’s supplies. The Three Square Food bank is the largest food bank in southern Nevada. Meanwhile, the donation to MusiCares will support working musicians. MusiCares recently established the COVID-19 Relief Fund to help people in the music industry affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent cancellation of multiple music events.
“MusiCares is very grateful for the outpouring of generosity we’ve seen from many in the music industry to grow the COVID-19 Relief Fund,” Steve Boom, MusiCares chair, said in a statement. “The challenges that our industry is facing right now are enormous. It is contributions such as these that will help our community survive in this unprecedented time of tremendous need.”
Earlier this week, Manu Dibango — the acclaimed Cameroonian saxophonist whose 1972 hit, “Soul Makossa,” was sampled by Jackson, Kanye West and dozens of other musicians — died from the coronavirus.