NEW YORK (Top40 Charts) - Michael Jackson
is spearheading an all-star benefit single for the survivors and families of victims in last week's terrorist attacks.
Britney Spears, Destiny's Child, 'NSYNC's Justin Timberlake, Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter
and Mya will join Jackson on a song titled "What More Can I Give," he said in a statement released Sunday.
Jackson's spokesperson, Howard Rubenstein, told Reuters that more singers will contribute to the single and that it will be released as soon as possible.
"We have demonstrated time and again that music can touch our souls," Jackson said in his statement. "It is time we used that power to help us begin the process of healing immediately."
Jackson has already begun working on "What More Can I Give," which he is writing and producing. He hopes the single will raise $50 million, he said.
Plans for a Spanish-language version of the song are also in the works.
Hundreds are confirmed dead and nearly 5,000 people are missing as a result of the plane crashes that destroyed the World Trade Center towers and damaged the Pentagon on September 11 — the worst terrorist attack in American history.
"I believe in my heart that the music community will come together as one and rally to the aid of thousands of innocent victims," Jackson said. "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 comfort so many people."
Earlier this month, Spears, Destiny's Child, 'NSYNC, Backstreet Boys and more contributed to a benefit song for AIDS research. U2 singer Bono organized the project - a cover of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" - which will be released on World AIDS Day, December 1.
Michael and friends aren't alone in raising funds for relief efforts; several artists are doing their part to raise funds for victims of the tragedies. In addition to proceeds from Madonna's show at Los Angeles' Staples Center on Thursday benefiting the children and families affected by last week's terrorist attacks, Friday and Saturday's shows were also included in her fund-raising efforts, according to a venue spokesperson (see). Saturday's show was a rescheduled date after it was originally slated for last Tuesday. Janet Jackson, James Taylor and Maxwell are the latest artists to participate in the ClearChannel.com Relief Fund, a program in which $1 from every ticket sold, with a minimum total donation of $10,000, will be donated to the Red Cross and affected police and fire departments. Clear Channel Entertainment promotes the artists' tours.
Whitney Houston's rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner," which she recorded in 1991 during the Gulf War, will be reissued by Arista Records with proceeds benefiting relief efforts. Godsmack has pledged the proceeds of all merchandise sales from the remaining 10 dates of their tour, which wraps up September 30 in Austin, to benefit the families of police officers and firefighters. The band's manager estimates the total amount donated to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, when merch sales are combined with donations made by fans at the shows. Alanis Morissette posted on her Web site (www.alanismorissette.com) that she is planning some type of benefit concert, the specifics of which are expected to be announced later.
Though the Latin Grammy Awards were called off in the wake of last Tuesday's terrorist strikes (see), music producer Phil Ramone and television producer Merv Griffin assembled several of the artists who were in Los Angeles for the canceled event - including Joan Osborne and Celia Cruz - for a fundraiser on Saturday in honor of the police officers and firefighters of New York City. Held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, the event benefited the American Red Cross and featured a performance of Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by actor Kevin Spacey.
Backstreet Boys and Incubus are also among the artists who have pledged proceeds generated at recent concerts toward relief efforts