Bruno Mars Donates $1m to Flint Water Crisis Relief Effort

Bruno Mars has donated $1m in aid to Flint, Michigan, to help continue the relief work in the wake of the city’s water supply being contaminated with lead.

The singer, who has topped the US singles chart seven times, announced the donation on stage in Auburn Hills, halfway between Detroit and Flint. He later wrote in a statement: “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.”

The crisis began in 2014, when the city’s water supply was switched from the Detroit river to the Flint river as part of a cost-saving initiative. Residents’ water became discolored and was found to contain high levels of bacteria, disinfectant and lead. An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease resulted from the switch, with around 100 affected, leading to 12 deaths.

In June, five state officials were charged with involuntary manslaughter. “People in Flint have died as a result of the decisions made with those charged to protect the health and safety of those individuals,” said attorney general Bill Schuette.

Mars – who has just released a new video for his song “Versace on the Floor,” co-starring Disney star Zendaya – is the latest celebrity to donate to the relief effort, following Cher, Eminem, Mark Wahlberg, Diddy and more.