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Beyoncé Knowles has donated her entire $4 million salary from her new film to help a drug treatment organization in America.

The 27-year-old spent two weeks with addicts undergoing treatment at a Phoenix House centre in New York last year while researching her role in Cadillac Records, in which she plays soul legend Etta James.

“Her incredibly generous gesture to Phoenix House comes as no big surprise to those close to her,” a source told Britain’s The Daily Star. “Without fanfare or publicity of any kind she has quietly given away millions to causes that move her. I don’t think she’s ever before given away such a large amount to one organization but she clearly believes that many people, possibly thousands, would die without their help. We’re talking about people here who can’t afford $20,000-plus a week to check themselves into Promises in Malibu or the Betty Ford Clinic. These people are hand-to-mouth street junkies and without groups like Phoenix they wouldn’t stand a chance of recovery. Beyoncé has acted, like she always does, from the heart and if she’s helped save even one life over Christmas she’ll consider every last cent well spent.”

Phoenix House runs 98 residential and outpatient rehab programs throughout the US, and treats over 5000 addicts a day. Their mission to reclaim disordered lives and treat addictions is achieved through donations from patients and the public.

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