Michael Jackson inspired Chance the Rapper's charity work

Chance the Rapper has hailed Michael Jackson as the greatest musical philanthropist and the inspiration for his own charity work.

The hip-hop star is known for his charitable endeavours in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois, including a recent $1 million (£770,000) gift to fund mental health services.

In an interview for Forbes magazine, Chance, real name Chancelor Jonathan Bennett, cited the Thriller hitmaker as his primary inspiration over his fellow rappers.

"The greatest of all time...most philanthropic musician is Michael Joseph Jackson," he said. "I think he donated over $600 million (£463 million) to charities and more afterwards... The only person I can really think of off the top when I think of charity that's a musician is Michael Jackson."

The 26-year-old is also inspired by fellow Chicagoan Kanye West, but feels the rapper's contribution to society has been mainly made through his music.

"That's how I've always thought about it cause most of the people that I grew up listening to were hip-hop artists and I don't really remember there being a lot of...Ye (Kanye) gave back to the people, but it was in a very different way," he explained. "It was always through his music. I can't really think of anybody else."

Despite his status as a musical philanthropist, the King of Pop's legacy is under threat due to the string of child sexual abuse allegations made by two men in the controversial Leaving Neverland documentary. Michael, who passed away in 2009, was also accused during his lifetime of molesting teenage cancer patient Gavin Arvizo, who he met through his charity work. He was acquitted on all charges after a 2005 trial.

The late popstar's family have strenuously denied all allegations.

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