Beyonce Donated $4 million to Drug Rehabilitation Center

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.

photo of Beyonce Knowles singing

Beyoncé Opens Cosmetology Center at Phoenix House

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.

Related: Smokey Robinson Helping Fight Against Drug AddictionEminem’s ‘Relapse’ Explores His Drug Addition and RehabilitationMaradona Drug RehabCarrie Fisher’s Novel Explores Drug Addiction and Rehab

Smokey Robinson Helping Fight Against Drug Addiction

Smokey Robinson

After 50 years, Smokey Robinson is still having fun

I speak at schools, churches, gang meetings, rehab facilities, telling people that drugs don’t discriminate. I was 39 years old and my life was going exactly as I would have it go. I couldn’t have written it any better. But drugs don’t care who you are, what you’re doing, where you are or where you’re going. When you open yourself up to them, you are vulnerable. And I was. You think drugs won’t get the best of you, that you will never become an addict. Ninety-nine percent of the people who start doing drugs do so with their friends. It’s a social thing and you call yourself having fun. Then you look up and fun has wiped you out like it did me. I did it for two years. I was a walking corpse, totally out of it.

Drugs are also a spiritual condition. If you don’t get your spiritual self together, you’ll never conquer them. I went to church and was prayed for; I gave it to God. I went to church one night a drug addict and when I came out of that church, I was free. That was May 1986. I haven’t even thought about drugs since then other than that I’m at war with them.

As Smokey Robinson shows not everyone needs rehab to remove drugs from their lives but many do. He has devoted himself to helping those that are struggling with drug addiction. And that is what those with drug problems need – a helping hand and allies to tell help them improve their lives.

Photo by jcrawford

Related: Piano Man RehabWinehouse to Rehab: Yes, Yes, YesWhy Can’t Drug Addicts Quit on Their Own?

Hugh Masekela Fighting Against Drug and Alcohol Addiction

photo of jazz musican Hugh Masekela

Masekela’s message for ‘addictive’ SA

One of the biggest names in world music – trumpeter Hugh Masekela – has said the message behind his latest album Time is to help the fight against drug and alcohol addiction in his native South Africa.

Masekela himself is a recovering addict, having gone into rehabilitation six years ago before establishing an organisation to help those with similar problems in his homeland. And he told BBC World Service’s The Ticket programme that he felt a duty to help others suffering from the same problems.

“I myself am a recovering addict and alcoholic. Six years ago I came to England, took up counselling, and learned the psychology of addiction.”

Drug-busting Masekela calls a brave new tune

The project, called the Musicians and Artists Assistance Programme of South Africa (Maapsa), is a partnership between several South African celebrities, including musicians Jabu Khanyile and Family Factory, actress Connie Masilo and talkshow host Felicia Mabuza-Suttle. Masekela said: “This organisation will make South Africans aware that addiction is a dynamite powder-keg. In South Africa, people are often praised for being able to drink a lot. They think drinking is something to be proud of.”

Victor Ntoni, another respected musician, said alcohol and substance abuse among musicians was exacerbated by the increasing exploitation of artists in South Africa.

Mabuza-Suttle, one of the trustees of Maapsa, said that because she came from a background of alcoholism, she knew about the devastating effects of addiction on families.

Hugh Masekela Biography

As the brutality of the Apartheid state increased, Hugh finally left the country with the help of Trevor Huddleston and his friends Yehudi Menuhin and Johnny Dankworth who got him admitted into London’s Guildhall School of music. Miriam Makeba who was already enjoying major success in the USA later helped him with Harry Belafonte, Dizzy Gillepsie and John Mehegan to get admission to the Manhattan school of Music in New York. Hugh finally met Louis Armstrong who had sent the Huddleston Band a trumpet after Huddleston told the trumpet king about the bank he helped start back in South Africa before deportation.

With immense help from Makeba and Belafonte, Hugh eventually began to record, gaining his first breakthrough with “The Americanization of Ooga-Booga” produced by the late Tom Wilson who had been producer of Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel’s debut successes. Stewart Levine his business partner in Chissa Records went on to produce hit records for Hugh on Uni Records, beginning with “Alive and Well at the Whisky” in 1967 and then “”Promise of A Future” which contained the gigantic hit song “Grazing in the Grass” in 1968.

By the beginning of the 1970’s he had attained international fame, selling out all of America’s festivals, auditoriums and top nightclubs. Heeding the call of his African roots, he moved to Guinea, then Liberia and Ghana after recording the historical “ Home is where Music is” with Dudu Pokwana.

photo from Ritmo Artists

Related: Winehouse to Rehab – Yes, Yes, YesEva Mendes on Rehab

Winehouse to Rehab: Yes, Yes, Yes

Amy Winehouse photo

Winehouse to Rehab: Yes, Yes, Yes

“Amy decided to enter the the facility today after talks with her record label, management, family and doctors,” her record label, Universal Music Group, said in a statement Thursday. “Amy entered the facility by mutual agreement and continues to receive the full support of all concerned.

“She has come to understand that she requires specialist treatment to continue her ongoing recovery from drug addiction and prepare for her planned appearance at the Grammy Awards.”

“For all the hurt and pain, it may finally be the thing to focus her mind and convince her to get the help she needs to quit for good.”

Photo by mikeakelly on 15 March 2007.

Related: Rehab by Amy Winehouse