As the nation struggles to come to grips with last week's devastating terrorist attacks — the worst in U.S. history — artists such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Britney Spears are stepping forward to lend some much-needed support.
Jackson currently is writing and producing an all-star "We Are The World"-type ballad and will donate all proceeds generated by its worldwide distribution to the relief effort. "I believe in my heart that the music community will come together as one and rally to the aid of thousands of innocent victims," said Jackson, who hopes to raise $50 million. "There is a tremendous need for relief dollars right now, and through this effort each one of us can play an immediate role in helping to comfort so many people."
Spears, Destiny's Child, Mýa, 'N Sync's Justin Timberlake and Backstreet Boy Nick Carter will all lend their voices to "What More Can I Give," which will be released in both English and Spanish versions. While a Jackson spokesperson was unsure if the song will be accompanied by a video, she told TV Guide Online they're expecting more artists and details to be confirmed in the near future.
In addition to joining Jackson's cause, Spears is hoping to raise more than $2 million with a relief campaign of her own. In an effort to help the children of New York City police officers and firefighters lost during the catastrophe, the pop superstar will donate $1 from every ticket sold during her upcoming tour of North America. Merchandising profits and funds generated through ticket auctions will also be contributed. Additional aid is available through the singer's own charity, the Britney Spears Foundation.
As reported, Houston and her label, Arista Records, are re-releasing her moving rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" and donating royalties and net proceeds from the sale of the single. Monies will be divided between the New York Fraternal Order of Police Fund and the New York Firefighters Disaster Relief Fund. The song, originally released in 1991 following Houston's performance at Super Bowl XXV, will be packaged as part of a CD single that also includes her version of "America the Beautiful."
The Backstreet Boys donated proceeds from their September 12 show in Toronto to the Clear Channel Relief Fund, a newly established initiative that benefits the American Red Cross, as well as New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania-area police and firefighters, military personnel and the National Guard. The BSB lost a member of their road crew, Danny Lee, who was aboard American Airlines Flight 11 when it crashed into the World Trade Center last Tuesday. Lee was heading home for the birth of his child.
Other artists who have donated concert revenue include Madonna, Earth, Wind & Fire, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Incubus. The Black Crowes will give a portion of the proceeds and 100 percent of all merchandising revenue from their upcoming shows at New York's Beacon Theatre to the NYS WTC Relief Fund and the NYC Public/Private Initiative (the band has also requested that representatives from both charities be present at the shows, which will take place September 20-21). A spokesperson for Alanis Morissette said the singer is planning a benefit show as well, though details have yet to be confirmed.
The Red Cross will also benefit from sales of "Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly," a song recorded this past weekend by country crooner Aaron Tippin. The single is due to hit retail stores in early October.Last, but by no means least, shock jock Howard Stern said Courtney Love called him at home this past weekend, and urged him to join her in an effort to revitalize the economy. According to Stern, Love invested $200,000 to the American market when the New York Stock Exchange re-opened this past Monday.