Whether you’re a fan of their music or not, there’s no debating that Coldplay is one of the biggest bands on the planet (not just any musical act gets to headline a Super Bowl halftime show, after all).
But, while their songs serve as soundtracks to the lives of millions of people worldwide, their impact on mankind is measured in greater ways than records sold. This makes for a plethora of good celebrity news.
Let’s take a look at the ways in which Martin and his bandmates give back to others.
Percentage of Sales
Coldplay’s charitable deeds go all the way back to their debut album, Parachutes. The group donated 10% of the profits generated from the album directly to charity. It’s a trend they’ve continued with subsequent releases.
Oxfam – Make Trade Fair
Martin and the band also support Oxfam’s Make Trade Fair campaign, which promotes fair trade amongst governments, corporations, and institutions to eradicate extreme poverty throughout the world.
“Smaller, poor countries are being totally ripped off by the trade rules that the bigger, Western countries impose,” Martin wrote in an op-ed piece for The Guardian in 2003.
“As consumers, we need to think about what we’re buying, and whether the farmers who grow it are getting a fair deal. If you pay a few pence more for Fair Trade coffee in the supermarket, the farmers themselves get almost three times more for their crop, which makes an incredible difference.”
Martin quietly supports the organization while onstage by scribbling “Make Trade Fair” or some variation on the back of his hand. His efforts are supported by his bandmates.
“Anyone in our position has a certain responsibility,” Guy Berryman said in the book, Viva Coldplay!: A Biography.
“Odd though it may seem to us, a lot of people read what we’re saying, see us on TV, buy our record and read the sleeves and that can be a great platform.
“You can make people aware of issues. It isn’t very much effort for us at all, but if it can help people, then we want to do it,” he added.
Oxfam – GROW
In 2012, Coldplay teamed with Oxfam for its GROW campaign, which focuses on fighting injustices in society (inequality, lack of support for small-scale farmers) that lead to world hunger.
The band dedicated their Mylo Xyloto world tour to helping the cause (reaching over 100 million people) and, in 2013, they donated an acoustic version of their song, ‘In My Place,’ for an Oxfam campaign video.
Global Citizen Festival
In 2015, Martin was tabbed to be the creative director and curator for the Global Citizen Festival for the next 15 years.
Global Citizen is an organization, started in 2012, which aims to end extreme poverty by 2030. The annual musical festival takes place in New York in September.
Throughout its five-year run, it has featured some of the biggest acts in entertainment (including Rihanna, Beyoncé, Jay Z, Foo Fighters, and of course Coldplay) as well as appearances from celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Hugh Jackman, Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, Vice President Joe Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama.
— Oxfam (@oxfamgb) June 20, 2016
Fans get free tickets by contributing to charity acts on the organization’s website. In 2015, the GCF aligned itself with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, which are 17 tasks that aim to help achieve a poverty-free world.
“It’s not an easy number,” Martin told Billboard in 2015. “But on another level, it’s remarkable that with 193 countries and 7 billion people, we only have to do these 17 things and life gets better for a lot of people. And as long as you ask Beyoncé to say one of them and [former UN secretary-general] Kofi Annan to say another one, it becomes something that kids talk about.”
On November 19, 2016, India will host its first free Global Citizen Festival featuring performances from Martin and Coldplay, Jay Z, and Demi Lovato.
“With over half a million young Indians taking over 1.8 million actions in support of our campaigns, earning their free tickets for the inaugural Global Citizen India Festival, it is exhilarating to see that the youth of India won’t wait for change,” Global Citizen CEO, Hugh Evans, said in a statement.
HIV/AIDS & Children
The members of Coldplay are always front and center when it comes to issues pertaining to children and HIV/AIDS.
Recently, the band took part in a charity concert at Kensington Palace. Proceeds from the event went toward fighting the horrible disease and helping the young people stricken by it in Africa.
As usual, the lads infused a little spontaneity into their performance, this time bringing Prince Harry on stage to help them with a rendition of “Up & Up.”
The band also donates and time and money to the organizations like Keep A Child Alive, the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and War Child, with whom they teamed for a fundraising concert in February 2016.
“We’re delighted to play this special show for War Child to raise funds for their crucial work with children dealing with the aftermath of conflict,” the band said in a press release.
Cancer & Disaster Relief
And when disaster strikes, they’re often one of the first groups to step up to the plate and help as they did following the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
In that instance, the group helped raise money for victims by participating at the Hope for Haiti Now telethon where they performed a modified version of their song, “A Message.”
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