10 Humanitarian Quotes by Famous Musicians

Oftentimes, popular music artists are known for their radio hits or Grammy nominations. However, several artists in the music industry are using their platform for more than just promoting their newest hit singles; many are working to change the lives of the world’s poor. Listed below are 10 humanitarian quotes by famous musicians:

Top 10 Humanitarian Quotes by Famous Musicians

  1. “I discovered that when I started making money, I didn’t really need it. When you have such an excess of money you don’t need, the most sensible, most human, and completely obvious thing to do is to give to people in need.” Avicii, the late electronic musician, DJ and songwriter said in a 2013 interview.
  2. “If we can overcome the education deficit in the developing world, everybody wins.” Rihanna on fighting for the education of girls in developing countries.
  3. “I want to be more involved outside just my community of Chicago. I want to travel overseas and help out people all over the world. . . I’m a good man, and I’m going to become a better man.” Chance the Rapper, in his 2017 acceptance speech at the BET Humanitarian Award for his work transforming Chicago public schools.
  4. “In an uncertain world, a strong military is essential, but the best bulwark against violent extremism is hope and opportunity.”Bono, lead singer of Irish rock band U2, in a speech on development and extremism.
  5. We must come together – individuals, governments, corporations, philanthropists and artists – as one and fight for the rights of children and families suffering unnecessarily from this dreadful disease.”Alicia Keys, R&B singer, during an address at the 16th International Aids Conference in Toronto in 2006
  6. “It doesn’t matter if you are a musician, a business leader, a president or a student. We all have a responsibility to give back.”Shakira, Colombian singer in an interview with Americas Quarterly about building support for global childhood education.
  7. “You don’t have to be rich to be a humanitarian. You don’t have to be rich to help somebody. You don’t gotta be famous . . . It starts with your neighbor, the person right next to you. You just do whatever you can to help in any way that you can. All you need to do is help one person, expecting nothing in return. To me, that is a humanitarian.” Rihanna in her acceptance speech for the Harvard Humanitarian Award in 2017.
  8. “I’ve seen the power of the human spirit translated into compassion and extraordinary global progress. This has been the most important lesson of my life. Nothing is more profound or more powerful than recognizing our common humanity.” Elton John, Grammy award-winning artist in his acceptance speech for the Harvard Foundation’s Humanitarian Award.
  9. “We’re all in this together. Each and every one of us can make a difference by giving back.”Beyoncé, in her mission statement her global poverty initiative BeyGood.
  10. “Change only takes place when and where there is action. . . I believe through actions, whether it be through awareness, getting involved or educating ourselves, the goal to end extreme poverty by 2030 is possible.”Jay-Z, rap and hip-hop artist, in his announcement to join the Global Citizen Project (organized by the Global Poverty Project) in 2014

– Sam Elster
Photo: Flickr

Humanitarian QuotesThe following humanitarian quotes are from well-known humanitarians who shared their wisdom for helping others.

Humanitarian Quotes

1. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights activist and clergyman

2.  “If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one.”

– Mother Teresa,  founder of The Missionaries of Charity

3. “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”

– Mahatma Gandhi, Indian nationalist and civil rights leader

4. “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”

Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid activist and former president of South Africa

5. “The destiny of world civilization depends upon providing a decent standard of living for all mankind.”

– Norman Borlaug, father of the Green Revolution and credited with saving over one billion people from starvation

6. “The fact is that ours is the first generation that can look disease and extreme poverty in the eye, look across the ocean to Africa, and say this, and mean it. We do not have to stand for this. A whole continent written off – we do not have to stand for this.”

– Bono (Paul David Lewis), lead singer of U2 and international philanthropist

7. “Since the world has existed, there has been injustice. But it is one world, the more so as it becomes smaller, more accessible. There is just no question that there is more obligation that those who have should give to those who have nothing.”

– Audrey Hepburn, actress and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador

8.  “When we live in a world that is very unjust, you have to be a dissident.”

– Nawal El Saadawi, Egyptian feminist, writer, and psychiatrist

9. “To say that on a daily basis you can make a difference, well, you can. One act of kindness a day can do it.”

– Betty Williams, Irish activist and founder of the Irish peace movement, Community of Peace People

10. “The power of human empathy, leading to collective action, saves lives, and frees prisoners. Ordinary people, whose personal well-being and security are assured, join together in huge numbers to save people they do not know, and will never meet….Unlike any other creature on this planet, humans can learn and understand, without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people’s places….We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.”

– J.K. Rowling, author, philanthropist, and founder of the children’s charity, Lumos


– Jordanna Packtor

Sources: Brainy Quote, All That is Interesting, MSN Glo J.K. Rowling, Harvard Gazette,
Photo: Flickr


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