Bruno Mars did more than give a good show for the sold-out crowd at The Palace of Auburn Hills near Detroit on Saturday night. He also offered a needed lifeline to Flint, Michigan, when he announced that he will donate $1 million to help the city’s recovery efforts from its water crisis.
Billboard reports that Mars told the crowd he was donating the money after finishing his main set with the song “Just The Way You Are.”
In a statement provided to press, 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.”
Mars, who is currently on the North American leg of his 24K Magic World Tour, and promoter LiveNation will direct proceeds from Saturday’s show to the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Flint water crisis began in 2014 when officials switched the city’s drinking water source to the Flint River, and the city’s predominantly Black 100,000 residents experienced toxic levels of lead in its water. As Colorlines previously reported, contact with the tap water often led to skin rashes and hair loss. In addition to the thousands who were poisoned by the lead, 12 people died from Legionnaire’s disease, an extreme form of pneumonia.
Three years after the Flint water crisis began, the city still lacks water that is safe to drink without a filter.