Musicians Rally for Tsunami
01/07/2005 12:05 PM, E! Online
The music world may have been slow to respond to the tsunami tragedy, but a wave of upcoming events aims to help make up the difference.
While several large-scale events are reportedly in the planning stages, including a Live Aid-style charity concert at Cardiff Stadium in Wales with U2 and The Darkness asked to headline the late January gig (a stadium manager puts the chances for the gig happening at 50/50), several individual artists are going at it alone when it comes to charity to help victims in the ravaged South Asia and Africa.
Sting announced he would perform a benefit show Feb. 10 in Perth, Australia, with 100 percent of the net proceeds donated to relief efforts. The former Police frontman had been booked to play a now canceled Feb. 9 show in tsunami-struck Sri Lanka.
Even closer to hard-hit coastal areas in Asia, some of Hong Kong's most beloved musicians and actors, including Jackie Chan , Andy Lau , Arron Kwok and Nicolas Tse, have rerecorded the 1980s USA for Africa fundraising hit "We Are the World." The Asian consortium plans to release the tune as a single to benefit the victims of the earthquake-induced tsunami.
U.K.-based musicians have also ramped up relief efforts.
Brian May announced this week that proceeds from the 1,000th London performance of the Queen-based musical We Will Rock You on Jan. 12 will be donated to the Disaster Emergency Committee appeal for tsunami and earthquake relief efforts.
That same U.K.-based agency received help this week from Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne. The rocker couple have reportedly donated $190,000 and agreed to appear in an MTV-produced television ad soliciting public donations. "We can save lives and get people back on their feet," Ozzy says in the ad.
"Like you, we've been watching images of the tsunami floods and we're shocked by the death and devastation," Sharon adds in the spot, "But we need to act right now. In order to help the most vulnerable, lots of money is needed quickly."
Another group, fronted by former Bee Gees Robin and Barry Gibb, ex-Rolling Stone Bill Wyman , Steve Winwood and Boy George, are recording a charity single called "Grief Never Grows Old."
Not to be outdone, U.S. musicians are coming out strong as the scope of the disaster becomes clearer every day.
SoCal rockers Linkin Park already offered up $100,000 for aid and are teaming with the American Red Cross to set up the Music for Relief charity.
Deep in the heart of Texas, Willie Nelson, Patty Griffin, Ray Price, Alejandro Escovedo and other guests will play a benefit this Sunday at the Austin Music Hall. The show is sold out and is reportedly being filmed for a DVD release.
And in Seattle, the Presidents of the United States of America, MxPx and Smoosh will perform at the Showbox on Jan. 12 with proceeds going to the Tsunami Relief effort of Northwest Medical Teams.
Finally, Vancouver has what looks to be the biggest confirmed benefit, set to take place Jan. 29 at the GM Place. Clear Channel Entertainment will produce the Concert for Tsunami Relief event, with such acts as Sarah McLachlan , Avril Lavigne and the Barenaked Ladies confirmed.