M.I.A. FUND RAISER

Singer M.I.A. stands on the stage at the Theatre Royal in London, Britain, Nov. 24, 2019.
REUTERS/Henry Nicholls, file

British-born, Sri Lankan rapper, singer, record producer and activist M.I.A., who wrote her first song on Bequia, the largest of the St. Vincent Grenadine islands, says she has launched an online fund-raising campaign to aid volcano-ravaged St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

M.I.A., by name of Maya Arulpragasam, born July 18, 1975, has achieved global fame with politically-charged dance music.

According to AceShowbiz, M.I.A. launched the volcano relief campaign to raise US$137,000 (£100,000) for the people of St. Vincent in the Caribbean.

“The ‘Paper Planes’ hitmaker has stepped in to help those affected, explaining the area is ‘very special’ to her,” AceShowbiz said.

“I wrote my first song in Bequia,” wrote M.I.A. on twitter, and these places have been my island away from my island for the past 20 years. The devastation is unbearable.

“We want to raise £100,000 to immediately buy essential supplies, provide emergency travel and to get people to safety now,” she added.

“The money raised will be distributed to help the 16,000+ people who have been evacuated from their homes and population of 100,000, who are now at risk of severe respiratory problems due to the extreme amount of ash falling,” M.I.A. continued. “100 percent of all donations will go to the cause.”

According to Wikipedia, M.I.A.’s songs are marked with “evocative political and philosophical commentary.”

It said her music combines elements of alternative, dance, electronic, hip hop, and “world music with eclectic instruments and samples.”

M.I.A. began her career in 2000 as a visual artist, filmmaker and designer in West London before beginning her recording career in 2002, Wikipedia said.

It said she was one of the first acts to come to public attention through the Internet, and rose to prominence in early 2004 for her singles “Sunshowers” and “Galang.”

British-Sri Lankan rapper Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam better known by her stage name M.I.A. performs at the House of Blues in Boston, Monday, May 5, 2014.  Associated Press/Robert E. Klein, file

M.I.A.’s first two albums, Arular (2005) and Kala (2007), received widespread critical acclaim for their experimentation with hip hop and electronic fusion, Wikipedia said.

It said the single “Paper Planes” from Kala reached number four on the US Billboard Hot 100 and sold over four million copies.

Her third album Maya (2010) was preceded by the controversial single-short film “Born Free,” Wikipedia said.

It said Maya was her best-charting effort, reaching the top 10 on several charts.

Her fourth studio album, Matangi (2013), included the single “Bad Girls,” which won accolades at the MTV Video Music Awards, according to Wikipedia.

It said M.I.A. released her fifth studio album, AIM, in 2016, scoring her first US Hot 100 number-one single as a featured artist on “Franchise,” a 2020 single by Travis Scott with Young Thug.

Wikipedia said M.I.A.’s accolades include two American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) awards and two MTV Video Music Awards.

She is the first person of South Asian descent to be nominated for an Academy Award and Grammy Award in the same year, Wikipedia said.

It said she was named one of the defining artists of the 2000s decade by Rolling Stone, and one of the 100 most influential people of 2009 by Time.

Wikipedia said Esquire ranked M.I.A. on its list of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century.

According to Billboard, she was one of the “Top 50 Dance/Electronic Artists of the 2010s.”

M.I.A. was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2019 Birthday Honors for her services to music, Wikipedia said.

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