The charitable side of... The Brits

Indira Das-Gupta

The venerable awards do more good than just massaging the egos of rock stars.

Everyone who is anyone in the music industry will be digging out their best designer outfits tonight for the most important event in the rock'n'roll calendar - the Brit Awards.

The awards are now in their 26th year and, as always, the ceremony at the Earls Court exhibition centre in west London promises to be a star-studded and lavish event with no expense spared. But if you thought those music industry bigwigs were a superficial, selfish bunch merely out to line their own pockets, you'd be wrong - up to a point, at least.

All the profits from the night go to the Brit Trust, which is the charitable arm of the BPI, the British record industry's trade association. In fact, the acronym Brit stands for the British Record Industry Trust.

The two main organisations to benefit from the trust are Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy UK and the Brit School in Croydon, the only non-fee-paying performing arts school in the country.

Last year the Brit Trust also gave a one-off donation of £500,000 to Save the Children to be used for a two-year project helping young survivors of the Asian tsunami. Singer Katie Melua (left), who is Save the Children's education ambassador as well as a former student of the Brit School, went to Sri Lanka last year to visit the project.

The Brit Trust was established in 1989 and has raised £7m for charitable causes since then, which works out at almost £412,000 a year.

Given that A-list pop stars such as Robbie Williams can earn in excess of £30,000 a day, some might argue that the industry could afford to dig even deeper. Still, it's the thought that counts, isn't it?

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