While George Harrison achieved international super-stardom as lead guitarist of the Beatles, he composed and recorded numerous hit songs as a solo artist, including My Sweet Lord and Give Me Love, which is featured in the end-credits of AWAKE. Drawn to India from an early age, Harrison delved into mystical texts and writings from masters like Yogananda and became a lifelong meditator. Harrison’s apprenticeship with Ravi Shankar helped to introduce sacred Indian music to the world, and his devotion and spiritual sincerity has inspired millions of seekers worldwide.
The release of George’s 1973 album entitled Living in the Material World coincided with the creation of his own charitable foundation. The royalties from that album – including the single “Give Me Love” – were donated by George in perpetuity, to the Material World Foundation.
George established the Foundation to encourage the exploration of alternate and diverse forms of artistic expression, life views and philosophies as well as a way to support established charities and people with special needs. In the autumn of 1973, the first project of the foundation was the Ravi Shankar Music Festival, which brought together renowned Indian classical musicians to perform and record compositions especially created by Ravi Shankar.
Since its inception, the Material World Foundation has supported hundreds of individuals and organizations many of which can be seen around this page. The Foundation in some cases has literally transformed people’s lives and in others has made life more bearable in the face of extreme suffering and adversity.
Even though George passed on from this material world in 2001, his charitable work has continued. In response to an outpouring of emotion by fans and friends, “My Sweet Lord” was re-released in 2002. The profits from that single benefited: Médicins Sans Frontières, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Macmillan Nurses, National Deaf Children’s Society, NSPCC and others.