Wyclef Jean to get NAACP award for Haiti work

Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:07pm EST
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters Life!) - Hip-hop singer Wyclef Jean will receive an NAACP humanitarian award next week for his efforts to help earthquake victims in his native Haiti, the civil rights organization said Tuesday.

Jean, 37, a founder member of The Fugees, became the celebrity face of appeals for disaster relief in Haiti last month, and helped to host the January 22 charity telethon "Hope for Haiti Now" which raised more than $66 million.

In 2005, Jean established the Yele Haiti Foundation to provide humanitarian aid to the people of Haiti.

"His passion for social justice and helping those in need should be applauded," NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous said in a statement.

"It was Wyclef who was on a plane shortly after the devastating earthquake hit his homeland of Haiti, and it was his dedication to the people of Haiti that helped spur all of us to donate what we could and keep the people of Haiti in our hearts and prayers."

Jean will be presented with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's Vanguard Award during the organization's annual Image Awards, to be broadcast on Fox television on Jan 26.

The award honors those whose work increases understanding and awareness of social and racial issues. Past recipients have included Tyler Perry, Russell Simmons, Aretha Franklin and Steven Spielberg.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

 
<p>Singer Wyclef Jean appears at a news conference in New York, January 27, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Segar</p>