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Beyoncé Helps Raise More Than $80,000 for a Flint-Based Charity

Beyonce Performs at The Staples CenterBeyonce Performs at The Staples Center
Queen Bey built in a charity element to her Formation World Tour.Photograph by Kevin Winter via Getty Images

Beyoncé helped raise $82,234 for a Flint-based charity ahead of her Tuesday performance at Ford Field in Detroit.

The check, which was from the singer’s Parkwood Entertainment group, was presented to the United Way of Genesee County and will help Flint residents who are still coping with the city’s lead-poisoned water, reported the Detroit News. But the giving didn’t stop there: Beyoncé also awarded prizes to 14 Detroit-area high school students to help fund their college educations—plus tickets to Tuesday night’s concert.

The money actually came from Beyoncé’s fans, who had the option to donate to the Flint fund when they were purchasing their tickets. Back in April, Beyoncé had announced her intention to make her Detroit-area show a “celebration of the resourcefulness of the people of Flint and Detroit, Michigan.”

Flint, Michigan hit the headlines early this year when President Obama declared a state of emergency after the area’s water supply was rendered undrinkable due to lead contamination from old pipes. However, it took several months for the crisis to reach Obama-level concern.

More than 40% of Flint residents live in poverty, and the majority are black, which raised the specter that both poverty and race played into why their concerns went unaddressed. An independent investigation found that the state of Michigan was primarily responsible for the contamination and had ignored complaints about the smell, taste, and health issues related to the water supply.

 

Beyoncé’s move is part of a larger initiative instituted by the singer that built in a charity element to three stops on her Formation World Tour. In addition to Detroit and Flint, both Houston and Los Angeles had a giving-related hook. It’s all part of the pop star’s BeyGOOD foundation, which was started in 2013 as the overall organization for her global philanthropic work. The Formation tour supported three primary charities: the United Way, Chime for Change, and Global Citizen.