The Weeknd donates $300,000 to Beirut relief efforts

The Canadian singer is the latest big name to pledge funds after an explosion devastated a large part of the Lebanese capital

FILE - The Weeknd performs on day three at Lollapalooza in Grant Park in Chicago on Aug 4, 2018. The Weekend, nominated for six MTV Video Music Awards will perform at the awards show on Aug. 30. (Photo by Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP, File)
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The Weeknd is the latest high-profile name to donate funds to Lebanon after the deadly explosion that devastated its capital city of Beirut.

The singer, real name Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, has pledged $300,000 (Dh1.1 million) to relief funds to help the victims of the explosion, which has claimed the lives of at least 171 people, injured some 6,000 and destroyed a central area of the city.

The donation was announced by the Starboy singer's Lebanese-Canadian manager Wassim 'Sal' Slaiby. He and his wife Rima Fakih have been working with their entertainment industry contacts to bolster relief efforts for the country.

Both Slaiby and Fakih were born in Lebanon before moving to Canada and the US respectively. Earlier this week, the couple donated $250,000 to the Global Aid for Lebanon fundraiser.

“I am so honoured and humbled to work with artists who have such deep care for the world and right now for our brothers and sisters of Lebanon who are in pain and need our collective help,” Slaiby wrote.

“I want to thank my brother @theweeknd for his generous and class act of donating $300,000 to the Global Aid for Lebanon campaign.”

He also thanked events company Live Nation for its $50,000 donation to the cause, saying: “I want to give a special thank you to Michael Rapino @michaelrapino and my Live Nation family for the $50,000 donation. Give what you can and let’s repost so the world can come together to help Lebanon from this this devastating tragedy. #GlobalAidForLebanon @glblctzn @lebaneseredcross @wfpusa @wfp_mena @ccclebanon.”

The Weeknd joins a growing list of stars to pledge financial support to the country. Earlier this week, his former girlfriend supermodel Bella Hadid, who is of Palestinian-Dutch descent, said she would be donating to multiple causes.

Posting a viral video of an older Lebanese woman playing the piano amid the destruction and rubble in her home, she said: “My eyes and heart are crying for you Lebanon… I am sorry you have to endure this kind of disaster my brothers and sisters… I will be sending donations to the Lebanese Red Cross, as well as ALL of the smaller organisations in Beirut.”

George and Amal Clooney pledged $100,000 to three Lebanese organisations assisting with relief efforts. In a statement, the couple said, “we're both deeply concerned for the people of Beirut and the devastation they've faced in the last few days.”

Harry Styles, Ariana Grande, Russell Crowe and Madonna are among the other big names to donate to support relief efforts.