R&B singer The Weeknd has promised to donate $ 1m (£ 700,000) to Ethiopians caught in the Tigray conflict.
The star, born as Abel Tesfaye in Canada, is the son of an Ethiopian immigrant.
‘My Heart Aches’
“My heart aches for our Ethiopian people as innocent people, both from young children to adults are being brutally murdered,” he said.
Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, known professionally as the Weeknd, is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and record producer. Noted for his versatility in vocal style, music production, and eccentric presentation, the Weeknd is often cited as an influence to contemporary music, as well as by other artists.
Fighting between Ethiopian troops and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) began in November and left millions homeless.
The war began when Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent troops to the Tigray region, after accusing the TPLF of attacking a military base.
The TPLF was the ruling party in the area, but it clashed with Mr Abiy over his efforts to add power to the central government.
Last week, a BBC Africa Eye investigation found evidence that Ethiopian troops had carried out a Tigray massacre, killing at least 15 men.
To date, more than two million people have fled their homes to escape the war, according to Tigray’s interim administration.
It has left more than four million people in need of help, they added.
The Weeknd’s Ethiopian Heritage
The singer has been one of the biggest stars on the charts over the past decade with hits including Blinding Lights.
The Weeknd said on Twitter and Instagram that his $1m donation would go to the UN’s World Food Programme to pay for two million meals.
He had previously spoken about his Ethiopian heritage, telling Rolling Stone magazine in 2015 that his grandmother would take him to the services of their Ethiopian church in Canada, that his first language was Amharic, and that his voice style was influenced by Ethiopian artist -Aster Set.