Beyonce Knowles donated her entire $4 million salary for Cadillac Records to the Phoenix House rehabilitation charity. She spent 2 weeks at Phoenix House researching her role in the movie where she played signer Etta James. Etta James struggled with drug addiction throughout her career.
The new Cosmetology Center will offer a seven-month cosmetology training course, helping our clients gain the career skills they need to lead productive, rewarding lives in recovery.
Beyoncé spoke about meeting with women in treatment at Phoenix House while preparing for the role of Etta James in the 2008 film Cadillac Records. “Through their stories, I realized that all of us have our personal struggles and we all have something to overcome,” she said. “Drug addiction… has a stigma that must be removed. Addiction is a disease and these beautiful women I met did not choose to become addicts, but they have chosen to get better.”
Later donating her salary from the film, Beyoncé wanted to create a program that was geared toward women, “something that would teach them skills that would give them hope even after Phoenix House.” Together, she and her mother, who owned a popular hair salon in Houston when she was growing up, came up with the idea of our new cosmetology program.
As a child, she observed that her mother’s salon was a place for women to “share stories, cry, laugh, and get advice” – and she wanted to bring that experience the women at Phoenix House. “The first sign of recovery is caring about your appearance,” she said. “And hopefully, this Center will be a place that will change lots of lives every year.”
Photo by Hassy, 2009.
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