If Princess Diana was living today, she'd see her 50th birthday on July 1. The Princess of Wales, who was killed along with her boyfriend Dodi Fayed from injuries sustained from a car accident, died on August 31, 1997, at the age of 36 in Paris, France.
Along with her beauty, Diana was known for her compassion. She gave her time to various charities, including AIDS awareness. At a time when AIDS patients were considered pariahs, Diana was photographed hugging and touching these sufferers, letting the world know that casual contact with such patients was not contagious. When it came to helping HIV/AIDS victims, the pretty blonde princess was a pioneer, and she contributed significantly to the UK's National Aids Trust.
Perhaps it is not uncommon for a member of the GLBT community to contribute to AIDS awareness. For example, gay singer Elton John runs the Elton John AIDS Foundation. But HIV/AIDS is a disease that has touched all types of people, not just gays. What straight celebrities, other than Princess Diana, have volunteered and contributed to HIV/AIDS education?
Elizabeth Taylor, talented and astonishingly beautiful, died at the age of 79 on March 23, 2011. One of her legacies besides her Oscar winning moments is her charity. The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation was established in 1991. Taylor became a leading force in getting fellow celebrities to understand how valuable their help is for the HIV/AIDS epidemic, a disease that arrived in the United States in the early 80s. Even in its early days, when people greatly feared gays, Dame Elizabeth showed sympathy for the disease's victims.
The 51-year-old singer, songwriter and front man for U2 is also a major player in charitable contributions, such as Debt AIDS Trade Africa. Founded by Bono and others, one of DATA's goals is to eliminate AIDS in Africa, a disease that has reached epidemic proportions in the country.
The "Empire State of Mind" singer and actress has been entertaining us with her voice and beauty since the late 90s, but Alicia Keys, 30, is also co-founder and Global Ambassador of Keep a Child Alive. The organization supplies the "nutrition, shelter, support and education" to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa and India.
The 42-year-old rapper and actor is also a visual artist. Teaming with RareInk, Cube will sell his autographed artwork with portions of the proceeds going to support Los Angeles's Minority AIDS Project. Many celebrities have been touched in a unique way by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. NWA's Eazy- E, who co-founded Ruthless Records, signed Cube to the group in the late 80s. Eazy-E died of AIDS in the mid 90s.
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- Elizabeth Taylor
- Dodi Fayed
- AIDS in Africa
- Ice Cube