While some let the fame and the piles of cash get to their heads, many celebrities and pop stars take their public image and fortune and put it to good use, helping big name charities and little-known individuals in equal measure.
So as the holiday season picks up speed, we decided to take a look at some of the kindest pop stars of 2014. The list below may not be in any particular order, but let us know in the comments which famous philanthropist is your personal favorite!
1. Taylor Swift
It seems that T-Swift can do no harm these days, acting as unofficial Queen of the Hollywood Nice Girls and newly-minted pop star. Her outreach is far from a new development, though.
Due to her own experiences growing up, Swift has served as an anti-bullying advocate. She truly put her money where her mouth is, so to speak, a few months ago as she doled out sage-like advice to a young fan entering high school and counseled another teenage fan dealing with unrequited love.
2. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Hip hop artists Macklemore (real name Ben Haggerty) and Ryan Lewis made headlines in 2012 with their song “Same Love,” receiving both critical acclaim and serious accolades for discussing gay and lesbian rights within that particular musical genre.
This year, the duo continued their social activism, launching a nonprofit called The 30/30 Project to create worldwide healthcare as a human right.
Haggerty and Lewis are also large supporters of The Nature Conservancy and AIDS advocacy (Lewis’s mother is HIV positive) and anti-drug use, as Macklemore is a former drug addict.
3. Ed Sheeran
The British singer-songwriter once said he wants to be known as “the nicest and hardest working guy in the industry,” and it seems that his goal is certainly coming to fruition.
Many have heard about Ed Sheeran meeting terminally ill Katie Papworth and accepting her proposal just days before her death. But that’s not the first time Sheeran has given back to his fans and charity.
Sheeran serenaded a terminally ill 15-year-old girl over the phone earlier this year, thanks to a tweet from her older brother. In December 2013, he also teamed up with Prizeo and FCancer to auction off a date with him in order to raise money for a cure, proving his good deeds just keep on coming.
Although he has surpassed the title of “pop star” and moved into the role of “musical icon,” we would be remiss to make a list of famous do-gooders and not mention the U2 frontman.
In fact, Bono may be the epitome of charitable celebrities.
He’s performed for countless benefits and military concerts, and has been seen at the forefront of the fight against AIDS and World Hunger, even singing on the 1984 Band Aid song “Do They Know It’s Christmas/Feed The World.” Bono was also recently involved in the song’s revival this year to assist in Ebola efforts.
If that isn’t enough, Bono co-founded The ONE Campaign, a nonprofit aimed at eradicating worldwide poverty. Over the years, the foundation has branched into AIDS advocacy and public health.
The National Journal named Bono the most politically effective celebrity of all time in 2011, a title no one really seems to dispute.