Pop superstar Beyoncé Knowles has been named 2016’s most charitable celebrity for her work in support of the social justice movement Black Lives Matter and for gender equality.
annual Celebs Gone Good list, which highlights celebrities who “use their fame and influence to create positive change.”
“Beyoncé topped this year’s list for using her platform to bring light to a variety of causes including representation of black women in popular culture, the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, and gender equality,” the organization’s website read. “The Lemonade singer also put the spotlight on the #BlackLivesMatter movement by sharing the red carpet at MTV’s VMAs with the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Oscar Grant III.”
— DoSomething.org (@dosomething) December 27, 2016
Beyoncé was one of the year’s most politically outspoken stars.
The 35-year-old singer sparked controversy in February when she performed her anthem “Formation” at the Super Bowl halftime show. Dancing alongside a slew of all-black backup dancers dressed in Black Panther Party costumes, the performance was deemed an “attack on police officers” by critics, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. The performance ultimately sparked backlash from law enforcement organizations across the country and resulted in calls for a boycott of Beyoncé’s “Formation” world tour.
The song’s controversial video, which included imagery of the singer sitting on a sinking police car, was released at the same time Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z made a $1.5 million donation to Black Lives Matter and other social justice groups via the couple’s streaming music service Tidal.
Months later, Beyoncé mocked police officers by featuring merchandise at her concerts bearing the slogan “Boycott Beyoncé.”
After the police-involved shooting deaths of two black men in July, the singer penned an open later directed at American law enforcement.
“We are sick and tired of the killings of young men and women in our communities,” she wrote in the letter posted to her website. “It is up to us to take a stand and demand that they ‘stop killing us.’”
Also at the top of DoSomething’s Celebs Gone Good list is the Emmy, Grammy, and Tony award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of the Broadway hit musicals In the Heights and Hamilton.
Singers Taylor Swift and Demi Lavato and actress Shailene Woodley round out the top five spots, respectively.