Of all the honors and achievements in Michael Jackson’s incredible career, one particularly shows his generous commitment to charitable causes. In 2000, Guinness World Records honored Michael for supporting 39 charities, a record for the most supported by a pop star, with hundreds of millions of dollars estimated to have been raised by his efforts.
Throughout his lifetime, Michael donated significant amounts to a vast number of charitable organizations. In 1984, he donated his entire share of the proceeds from The Victory Tour (his last full tour with The Jacksons) all to charity—an estimated $3 million to $5 million. A year later, he donated $1.5 million to establish the Michael Jackson Burn Center at Los Angeles’ Brotman Medical Center, and also helped organize USA For Africa, a multi-artist famine relief project. Their charity single, “We Are The World,” which Michael co-wrote with Lionel Richie, was the year’s best-selling single, raising millions more for poor communities on the continent.
Michael’s humanitarian efforts continued throughout the decades, with organizations including Make A Wish, the United Negro College Fund, Camp Ronald McDonald For Good Times (a haven for cancer patients and their families) receiving both his time and money. In 1992, he established the Heal The World Foundation, named after the worldwide hit single from Dangerous. In its decade-long tenure, Heal The World paid for everything from drug abuse education programs to the airlifting of 46 tons of supplies to war-torn Sarajevo. In addition, his humanitarian efforts were also reflected in his will which provided for a portion of his estate to be used to benefit charitable efforts to help children around the world.
Indeed, the artist who implored us to “make that change” in the lyrics to “Man In The Mirror” was tirelessly committed to doing the same himself.