Bruno Mars did a seven-figure solid for the city of Flint, Mich., during his show on Saturday night (Aug. 12) in suburban Detroit.
As he closed his main set with “Just The Way You Are” at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Mars told the crowd that he was donating $1 million to “our brothers and sisters in Flint, Michigan” to provide aid for the continuing wake of the city’s water crisis. Mars and Live Nation directed funds from the sold-out concert to the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, which addresses both immediate concerns as well as future needs of children exposed to lead in its water supply.
In a statement, Mars said, “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.”
After announcing the donation in concert, Mars told the Palace crowd, “This is why we love what we do. 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 added, “I love this state” and spoke about walking around Detroit and visiting the Motown Museum the day before the show. He and his band, the Hooligans, added a bit of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” to start their encore as an added local touch.
Saturday’s concert was part of Mars’ continuing 24K Magic World Tour, which wraps up its North American leg with four November shows at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., followed by swings through Latin America Oceana, Asia and Mexico into June of 2018.
The Flint Water Crisis was identified in 2014 when the source for drinking water was switched from Detroit water to the Flint River. Due to insufficient treatment an estimated more than 100,000 residents were exposed to tainted water with high levels of lead, which as been linked to an increase in Legionnaires’ disease and other health issues. Flint has switched back to Detroit for its water supply, and several state officials have resigned or are under indictment for negligence.
Other celebrities, such as Eminem and Cher, have also made donations and supported Flint in the wake of the crisis. More information about the situation in Flint and the Community Foundation can be found at www.cfgf.org.