There are plenty of women in the music scene who know how to rock out both on stage and in the studio. But it takes a truly all-star lady to create tunes we love while also creating some positive change in the world. These leading ladies go above and beyond to use their fame and fortune for the greater good, helping both organized charities and individuals in need, which makes them true rockstars in our book.
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An artist as influential as she is avant-garde, Lady Gaga doesn’t shy away from helping people. In 2012, the singer, songwriter, and actress started the Born This Way Foundation, which is all about empowering young people living with mental illness. Gaga has also been outspoken about her own struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. “I am a strong and powerful woman who is aware of the love I have around me from my team, my family and friends, my doctors and from my incredible fans who I know will never give up on me,” she states on the organization’s website. “I will never give up on my dreams of art and music. I am continuing to learn how to transcend this because I know I can. If you relate to what I am sharing, please know that you can too.”
Everyone knows this megastar is one strong woman, but she’s not just about her own empowerment. The singer/songwriter donates her time helping those who are homeless or out of work through her campaign #BeyGOOD. And on the one year anniversary of her highly personal hit album Lemonade , Beyonce announced the Formation Scholars, a college scholarship program for young black women preparing to study the arts. Her mission is to help “encourage and support young women who are unafraid to think outside the box and are bold, creative, conscious and confident.”
This English singer/songwriter just released a new album calledHoliday Destination, but that hasn’t stopped Nadine Shah from finding time to give back as well. Shah, who is of Pakistani descent, teamed up with Inara, a charity that provides aid to children injured during the Syrian war. In an effort to help raise awareness for the young lives affected by combat, she recently released a special recording that speaks about refugees and the struggles they face every day.
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Beyonce isn’t the only one in the Knowles family helping people in need. The actress and singer volunteers with the 14 Plus Foundation, a non-profit that helps improve school systems for children living in underdeveloped neighborhoods in Africa. She has also partnered up with the well-known skin care company Kiehl’s to create her own take on one of its classic products, Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concrete. The proceeds of this limited-edition item go directly to two charities: DonorsChoose.org and Son of a Saint.
Your favorite ’90s alt-rock singer has never been afraid to speak her mind, and that’s why we love her. But in addition to penning feminist anthems and making cameos on shows like Weeds and Sex and the City, she also works with Relationships First, a non-profit organization that helps teach communication skills. As an active advocate for the charity, Morissette speaks at many events discussing relationships and proper communication tactics.
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This pop princess has long been known for her charitable actions, from randomly surprising fans to donating $1 million to the Louisiana flood victims or $250,000 to Kesha for legal fees in her sexual assault suit against producer Dr. Luke. And, luckily, Swift’s generosity doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. After she won her recent trial against DJ David Mueller, the singer announced she would be donating “to multiple organizations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves,” including the Joyful Heart Foundation, which was founded by actress Mariska Hargitay to help survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault.
Emmy the Great
Hong Kong-born pop star Emmy the Great (aka Emma-Lee Moss) is involved with a host of different charities, including The Joe Strummer Foundation, which helps inspire young musicians, and WaterAid, an organization that provides clean water to third world countries. She’s also worked with Jail Guitar Doors, established by English singer Billy Bragg, to visit places like the HM Prison Holloway and teach music workshops to female prisoners.
Sharon Van Etten
This New Jersey-based singer helps raise money for and awareness about young people living with cancer through a collaboration with Yellow Bird Project, where she joins a roster of other celebrities in designing an exclusive t-shirt. 100% of every purchase goes to Trekstock, which provides support to young adults living with cancer throughout the UK.