Classic Rock's Most Charitable Artists

On this day, September 27, in 2007, U2's Bono was in town at the National Constitution Center receiving the Liberty Medal award from Former President George H.W. Bush for his tremendous work providing humanitarian aid throughout Africa. In honor of Bono being awarded this honor in our city, here's MGK's list of some of classic rock's most charitable artists. 


Bono’s ‘ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History’, an advocacy organization dedicated to fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease has given over 9 million Africans access to lifesaving AIDS medication, helped cut Malaria by 75% & helped millions of children attend primary school.

Elton John

Year after year, Sir Elton John is recognized for being one of the most generous celebrities. He’s donated tens of millions of his own personal wealth to the organizations he believes in. He founded, the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), which has raised over $125 million to support HIV related programs in 55 countries. The organization focuses on prevention, education and providing services to people living with the AIDS.

The Who 

Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend are the driving force behind Teen Cancer America in the US and Teenage Cancer Trust in the UK. Both organizations are devoted to improving the lives of teenagers and young adults with cancer by creating hospital programs designed specifically for teenagers. Roger asked John DeBella to host the Teen Cancer America benefit he played at the Kimmel Center in 2015.

Jon Bon Jovi 

Jon Bon Jovi has worked with Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, Project HOME and Habitat For Humanity to find homes for those in need. His charitable efforts have built or rebuilt homes for the less fortunate in North Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Detroit

Paul McCartney 

Paul McCartney is intentionally quiet about his monetary charitable contributions. That being said, he has performed at many huge fundraising efforts like Live AID, Live 8, Band AID and was instrumental in organizing the Concert for New York City after 9/11. He’s also quite involved in supporting PETA, a charity that his wife Linda was very passionate about.


Sting was inspired to perform at concerts assisting humanitarian causes after seeing an Amnesty International concert in 1979.  He co-founded The Rain Forest Foundation with his wife, Trudie Styler, to help save rain forests in South America. He’s shown such commitment to saving the rain forests, a species of Colombian tree frog was named after him.

Rod Stewart 

Rod Stewart is way more than a golden voiced performer with some spikey hair. He’s extremely generous. He’s passionate about supporting veterans, so much so that he’s made multiple $10,000 donations to John DeBella’s Veterans Radiothon.

Neil Young 

Neil Young helped found Farm Aid with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp. Plus Neil and his wife founded The Bridge School, which develops and uses advanced technologies to aid in the instruction of children with severe speech and physical disabilities. He recruits some of rock’s biggest names to play the Bridge School Benefit Concert each year to raise funds for the school.

Billy Joel 

Joel established Charity Begins At Home in 1978 to fund charities in the tri-state area that serve child abuse, domestic violence, autism, cancer and other issues. It is funded by his concerts. He was named MusiCares Person of the Year in 2002 for his services to humanity.

Eric Clapton 

Eric has raised tens of millions of dollars for the Crossroads Center a charity he founded that helps people and their families whose lives are controlled by alcohol, drugs or other compulsive behaviours – Helping them to make the changes necessary to find new health, a new sense of well- being and a new life of recovery.

John Mellencamp 

John started Farm Aid with Willie Nelson and Neil Young. He’s also dedicated to supporting our veterans. He’s performed various concerts for veterans, including a performance for patients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.