Rapper The Weeknd makes major donations to Black Lives Matter causes

The Weeknd arriving at the 88th Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, USA, February 28, 201
The Weeknd arriving at the 88th Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, USA, February 28, 2016.

Rapper The Weeknd has donated 500,000 dollars (about £400,000) to Black Lives Matter causes and urged record labels and streaming services to do similar.

The Canadian hip-hop star gave 200,000 dollars (£160,000) to the Black Lives Matter Global Network, the same amount to the Colin Kaepernick Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defence Initiative and 100,000 dollars (£80,000) to National Bail Out.

It comes amid heightened tensions and mass protests across the US and the rest of the world following the killing of an unarmed black man in police custody.

Announcing the donations on Instagram, The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, wrote: “Keep supporting our brothers and sisters out there risking everything to push for actual change for our black lives.

“Urging everyone with big pockets to give and give big and if you have less please give what you can even if it’s a small amount.”

The Weeknd later shared a separate post, urging major labels and streaming services to dig deep.

He said: “To my fellow respected industry partners and execs – no one profits off of black music more than the labels and streaming services. I gave yesterday and I urge you to go big and public with yours this week. It would mean the world to me and the community if you can join us on this.”

George Floyd died last week during an arrest in Minneapolis. Police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with murder, but protesters are demanding that three other officers at the scene be prosecuted.

Demonstrators have clashed with police across America, while cities including Los Angeles and New York have imposed curfews in a bid to curb the violence.

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