Dionne Warwick: Lending Her Voice
BY Julie Bolcer
November 30 2011 4:40 AM ET
A part-time resident of Brazil for some years, Warwick pursued global opportunities to bring attention to the fight against AIDS and combine that work with other causes. President Ronald Reagan appointed her the United States Ambassador of Health in 1987, and in 2002, she became the Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. She also selected the Hunger Project as her charity during her stint on The Celebrity Apprentice.
“The Hunger Project, and my position with FAO, concentrate on feeding and teaching those countries abroad how to potentially feed themselves,” she said. “The concentration is primarily that, and I do speak of AIDS during any of the times that I am actively involved with these hunger issues.”
She credits her religious upbringing and belief in the power of prayer for guiding her work. Warwick thinks faith can play a key role in the fight against AIDS.
“I was always told—my grandfather was a minister—that the reason we are on Earth is to be of service to each other,” she said. “I’m not fanatical about my religion. I believe in God and prayer and I think that it’s brought me a long way. So yes, I’m religious.”
Whether it’s due to faith or good genes, Warwick isn’t slowing down. As she enters her second half-century in show business, she plans on keeping up her philanthropy. Warwick says she owes it to her fans.
“I think that our celebrity is predicated upon the communities that support us,” she said. “If they’re going to support your career, the least that can be done is that you support and give back.”