Bruno Mars has donated $1 million to those affected by the Flint water crisis.
More than 100,000 residents of the Michigan city are thought to have been exposed to water with high levels of lead. The crisis was first identified in 2014, after Flint’s drinking water was switched from Detroit water to the Flint River.
Mars was performing Saturday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills in suburban Detroit when he announced the donation to the crowd. He said it was for “our brothers and sisters in Flint, Michigan,” to provide aid in the continuing aftermath of the crisis.
Funds from the sold-out concert were sent to the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, which aims to help with immediate issues stemming from the crisis as well as the future needs of children who had been exposed to lead in the city’s water supplies.
As Billboard reports, Mars also issued a statement in which he said he was “very thankful” to the Michigan audience for supporting the cause. “Ongoing challenges remain years later for Flint residents, and it’s important that we don’t forget our brothers and sisters affected by the disaster,” it read.
“As people, especially as Americans, we need to stand together to make sure something like this never happens in any community ever again.”
Flint’s drinking water has been switched back to Detroit water, but the exposure to tainted water has been linked to a rise in Legionnaires’ disease, while doctors are also concerned children exposed could face developmental disorders and behavioural issues.