Rapper Jay-Z has won an award in recognition of his Water for Life campaign, developed in conjunction with the United Nations (UN).

On the same day as the Brooklyn boy earned his tenth US number one album with new release American Gangster - without being sold through iTunes, no less - his water and sanitation campaign has been recognised with a new award.

The multimedia Water for Life scheme, which included a television documentary and interactive website detailing global water problems, won the Vibe Props award, a new prize acknowledging individuals displaying steadfast commitment to their communities.

The campaign was developed in conjunction with the UN's Department of Public Information and MTV Networks, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon accepted the prize on Jay-Z’s behalf.

"My man Jay-Z has been a wonderful partner to the UN, and a champion of those in need around the world," he said, stressing his pride that the Water for Life programme had been recognised.

He added: "More than one billion people have no access to safe drinking water. Two billion lack adequate sanitation. As a result, thousands of children die every day from diseases that could be prevented.

"When world leaders adopted the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), they pledged to change all that. They promised, by the year 2015, to cut by half the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water. Let us hold them to that promise."

Jay-Z's American Gangster sold 425,000 copies in its first week on release in the US, knocking The Eagles' Long Road Out of Eden off the top spot.

15/11/2007 10:52:00