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Universal Music sets up fund for needy R&B artists

The Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company, Tuesday said it donated $2 million to the R&B Foundation to establish the Motown/Universal Music Group Fund. The fund will provide financial assistance for health, welfare and medical purposes for R&B recording artists or surviving spouses formerly affiliated with Universal or any of its labels in the form of monetary grants

Universal, a unit of Vivendi Universal, established the fund two days prior to the R&B Foundation’s annual Pioneer Awards ceremony in New York Thursday.

“This extraordinary endowment gift will enable the foundation to continue for a long time its funding of financial assistance programs for needy R&B and Motown artists of the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s and ’70s,” said Jerry Butler, chairman of the R&B Foundation’s board of directors.