The release of Beyonce’s new ‘I Was Here’ video caused a massive debate among music fans who were divided by their opinions of whether the singer truly cared about charity or if she was simply using the self-directed song to promote her own ’4′ album. So, in our ever-timely fashion, this week’s Way Back Wednesday will showcase artists who definitely encouraged their fans to give back.
From Bob Marley and Marvin Gaye to Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey, there have been dozens acts throughout the last four decades who inspired social change and acceptance. Although each of their songs may not have been for a specific charity, these performers proved that they could sing about topics greater than themselves.
Watch some of the most memorable artists calling for change below:
Band Aid – ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’
Bob Marley – ‘Get Up, Stand Up’
Diana Ross – ‘Reach Out (and Touch Somebody’s Hand)’
Janet Jackson – ‘Rhythm Nation’
Mariah Carey – ‘There’s Got To Be A Way’
Marvin Gaye – ‘What’s Going On’
Michael Jackson – ‘Earth Song’
Teddy Pendergrass – ‘Wake Up (with Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes)’
Various Artists – ‘We Are The World’
It’s a shame that many artists out today lack the motivation to tackle social issues through their music and generally ignore such problems. On the other hand, it’s worse when artists get involved in charitable causes simply to use those ventures as opportunities to promote themselves.
Think about it: other than those who cover past socially active songs, when was the last time a major artist addressed problems in our world? With the exception of the occasional rapper with a political gripe, Destiny’s Child (‘Stand Up’) and Pink (‘Dear Mr. President’), it is difficult to remember any such names.
What other songs should be added to this shortlist? Why are many artists aren’t socially responsible in 2012? Let us know below!