Executors managing the late Michael Jackson’s estate are donating $300,000 (£252,000) to coronavirus response efforts.
The donation will be split between the Recording Academy’s MusicCares charity, the Three Square Food Bank in Las Vegas, Nevada, and New York’s Broadway Cares initiative, with each receiving $100,000 (£84,000).
John Branca and John McClain, the co-executors of the estate, said the death of Cameroonian musician Manu Dibango, whose work helped inspire Jackson’s hit Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, had shocked them.
“This virus strikes at the heart of the communities we are close to,” the officials told Variety. “We learned today that the legendary Manu Dibango passed away from the virus.
“Other performers and support staff in music and on Broadway are sick or have been left without work and are facing an uncertain future. And in Las Vegas, which has been so welcoming to Michael Jackson, the entire city has been shut down leaving thousands of workers and their families devastated and without an income.”
MusicCares aims to look after musicians who fall on hard times, and performers have been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic due to lockdown restrictions banning gigs, with the Broadway fund helping New York theatre performers hit by a shut down.
The donation to the Las Vegas food bank will enable them to provide 300,000 meals to the needy.
“Michael’s spirit of generosity and helping others during his lifetime is legendary,” the executors concluded. “These donations are inspired by him.”