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Lizzo has never forgotten her roots. The Houston native recently launched a scholarship to support young, Black music students in her alma mater, the University of Houston. The initiative, part of the musician’s “Juneteenth Giveback,” is a testament to her commitment to empowering underrepresented artists.

In a recent Instagram reel, the “Special” singer joyously declared, “LIZZO’S JUNETEENTH GIVEBACK IS PROUD TO PRESENT 50,000$ TO THE SASHA BE FLOOTING SCHOLARSHIP AT THE UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON.” The university also confirmed the collaboration and expressed gratitude for her generous support.

Moreover, the superstar highlighted the personal significance of the donation. “Today is very close to my heart, near and dear to home, and a milestone for me,” she explained. “It is for any young Black student from Houston, Texas, who has applied to go to [the] University of Houston to study at the Moores School of Music.”

Lizzo later paused, reflecting on her personal journey, then continued, “That was me just a couple [of] years ago, a young Black flute player who just needed a scholarship and someone to believe in them. Now I get to pay it forward.”

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The scholarship’s announcement was prefaced with a nostalgic flashback. Lizzo shared an old photograph of her youthful self intensely playing the flute in the University of Houston band, with the school’s cougar mascot temporarily imprinted on her cheek. “Meet Baby Lizzo,” she captioned the post, “On scholarship at the University of Houston hoping she’ll earn a music performance degree in flute… Little did she know she’d change the conversation on flutes in pop culture forever.”

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The Sasha Be Flooting Scholarship isn’t the only contribution the artist made during her Juneteenth Giveback. She already donated $50,000 each to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, serving the Black transgender community; Black Girls Smile, providing mental health resources for young Black women; and the Sphinx Organization, a social justice initiative offering music opportunities to Black and latinx individuals.

Amid the positive news, Lizzo had to contend with a recent barrage of negative online comments earlier this month, musing publicly about potentially stepping back from music. Luckily, fellow musician SZA stepped up in her defense, advocating against online bullying and rallying more support for the “Good As Hell” singer.

Both artists will be headlining Made In America 2023 later this year. Taking place on Sept. 2-3, other artists like Metro Boomin, Latto, Lil Yachty, and Coi Leray also appear on the lineup.

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