Prince "the Silent Angel" Gave Generously to Charities, Didn't Boast About Philanthropic Efforts

"He really believed that young people could change the world," says a friend of the humble star

By Rebecca Macatee Apr 22, 2016 6:57 PMTags
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Prince's music and artistic legacy is well known, but not everyone is as familiar with his philanthropic contributions. 

The late pop icon supported multiple charities and gave generously throughout his lifetime, but he was never one to broadcast his good deeds. As his close friend Tamron Hall recalled on MSNBC Friday, Prince "was much more than music and I think that people know that."

"He didn't want people to know all of the ways he helped other people," she added. "He did it as this silent angel including how he helped me, in my life, on many occasions."

Prince: A Life in Pictures

Prince quietly supported his friend Van Jones' Rebuild the Dream charity and its YesWeCode initiative, which has a mission of training 100,00 low-opportunity young adults for high-paying careers in technology. As Jones told CNN, Prince was passionate about finding ways to diversify the technology field.

Prince "really believed that young people could change the world," said Jones, noting that the singer didn't like to boast.

Along with Jay Z, Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, and others Tidal artists, Prince performed in a charity concert this past October which raised $1.5 million for Black Lives Matter. "He believed in the Black Lives Matter kids so much—and he had a dream for them," his friend Jones told CNN. "He said, 'I hope that they become an economic force. I hope that they use their genius to start businesses.'"

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Prince will forever be beloved in Minnesota for his invaluable contributions to his home state, but his generosity had no geographical boundaries. In 2011, Prince donated $250,000 to Eau Claire Promise Zone, an organization working to help preschoolers and their families in struggling areas of Columbia, S.C., at the request of the town's mayor. 

"He was an incredibly generous and magnanimous guest," Columbia mayor Steve Benjamin told "I think he's one of the most gifted and talented artists in American history...I know a lot of hearts are broken all across the world right now."

Prince got his big break in New York, and he made it a point to give back to the Big Apple as his career reached new heights. Per ABC 7, he donated $1 million to the Harlem Children's Zone, a non-profit organization for poverty-stricken children and families living in Harlem. He also donated $250,000 to the Uptown Dance Academy when he found out they were going to lose their space back in 2014. Thanks to the donation, the studios were able to remain open.

For much more on Prince's life and the circumstances surrounding his tragic death, tune in to E! News tonight at 7 and 11 p.m.

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