Five-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Mariah Carey has spent her decades-long career supporting charitable efforts globally, and she’s continuing to use her platform for good.
Since breaking out in the ’90s with hit pop singles like “Fantasy” and “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” the singer, considered one of the best-selling artists of all time, has championed a range of issues from youth education to world hunger.
Carey will add this year’s Global Citizen Festival: NYC in Central Park to her running list of performances to benefit important causes on Sept. 24.
Leaders, artists, activists and Global Citizens will gather to help End Extreme Poverty NOW and build a more sustainable future for all. Metallica, Charlie Puth, Jonas Brothers, MÅNESKIN, Mickey Guyton, Rosalía, and more will join Carey on stage in New York to rally the world to advance policies that empower women and girls, take climate action, break systemic barriers, and lift up activists and advocates.
Learn more about Carey’s philanthropic highlights in the lead-up to Global Citizen Festival below.
1. She runs a camp for underserved youth called Camp Mariah.
Inspired by her negative childhood experiences at summer camp, Carey co-founded Camp Mariah in Fishkill, New York, in 1994 in partnership with the nonprofit organization the Fresh Air Fund.
Thousands of inner-city youth attend the three-week program every year. Campers can also receive year-round career support, and attending the camp has been linked to higher college and high school graduation rates.
Carey won a Congressional Award in 1999 for her efforts to support youth through the Fresh Air Fund and the Administration for Children’s Services in New York City. Two decades later in 2019, Variety awarded her the Power of Women award for her continued work with the Fresh Air Fund.
2. She supports the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Carey has consistently volunteered her time and donated funds to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an organization dedicated to granting life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.
Children have attended music award shows in Carey’s place, and her generosity has funded more than 20 performing arts and music wishes. The Make-A-Wish Foundation awarded Carey the Wish Idol award in 2006 for her years-long contributions to the organization.
3. She campaigned to end world hunger.
Carey joined the World Hunger Relief Movement in 2008 as a Hunger Ambassador for the YUM! Foundation’s World Hunger Relief, an annual effort to raise money for the United Nations World Food Programme to end starvation worldwide.
“The change from hunger to hope starts with you,” Carey said on posters for the campaign that ran in 100 countries.
Diners at Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, Long John Silver’s, and A&W Restaurants had the opportunity to donate to the cause and receive a free download of Carey’s song “Love Story.”
4. She’s an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.
The organization GLAAD was founded in protest against defamatory media coverage of the LGBTQ+ community. Carey received the Ally Award at the GLAAD Media Awards in 2016 for supporting and advancing LGBTQ+ equality and acceptance.
“Through her music and outspoken support, Mariah Carey has inspired and empowered countless LGBT fans across the globe,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said following the announcement of Carey’s award. “She is a longtime ally and friend to the LGBT community who has worked tirelessly to move acceptance and inclusion forward.”
5. She helped raise money for COVID-19 relief.
Carey headlined the iHeart Living Room Concert for America, hosted by Elton John to raise funds to fight COVID-19 in 2020.
The virtual event, where Carey performed her 1995 single “Always Be My Baby,” raised over $8 million for COVID-19 relief. Carey also performed “Through the Rain” and “Make It Happen” at the Rise Up New York! Virtual telethon hosted by Tina Fey that raised over $115 million to address the crisis.
6. She’s supported music education for children.
The Save the Music Foundation, a nonprofit working to help kids, schools, and communities discover their full potential through the power of making music, invited Carey to perform on VH1’s Divas Live benefit concert in 1998.
Carey performed “Chain of Fools” alongside icon Aretha Franklin. Almost a decade later, the Save the Music Foundation honored Carey at its gala for her support of the foundation.
7. She played a special concert to promote peace.
Carey performed for US peacekeepers at Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo in 2001 at a concert organized by the United Service Organizations and Armed Forces Entertainment. US troops were stationed in Kosovo to mitigate violent conflict between ethnic Albanians and Serbs.
“I have such an appreciation for what you are doing for our country and appreciation for the fact that not everybody does what you do,” Carey said on stage. She dedicated a rendition of the songs “Hero” and “Never Too Far” to the troops.
8. She supported Hurricane Katrina relief.
After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in August 2005, artists rallied within a couple of weeks for the Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast telethon in support of the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
The event, where Carey performed, received pledges totaling more than $30 million.
9. She collaborated with other female stars to support cancer research.
Mariah Carey joined a star-studded list of female singers to support the Stand Up 2 Cancer special in 2008. Carey sang on “Just Stand Up!” produced by Babyface and LA Reid, along with future Global Citizen artists and issue champions Beyoncé, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, and more.
The song reached No. 1 on the charts in the US and the proceeds benefited the Stand Up to Cancer organization.
Global Citizen Festival is calling on world leaders, corporations, and philanthropists to do more than they’ve ever done before to End Extreme Poverty NOW. Through our global campaign and with stages in two iconic locations — NYC’s Central Park and Accra’s Black Star Square — we will unite leaders, artists, activists, and Global Citizens around the world on Sept. 24 to achieve an ambitious policy agenda focused on empowering girls and women, taking climate action, breaking systemic barriers, and lifting up activists and advocates. Wherever you are in the world, you can join the campaign and take action right now by downloading the Global Citizen app.