Music industry helps bridge Gulf with ‘Hurricane Relief: Come Together Now’
Multi-artist benefit record to aid storm victims will be released mid-November
All-star collection includes new recordings from Coldplay, Barbra Streisand,
Elton John, Clint Black, R. Kelly, Bonnie Raitt, Harry Connick, Jr. among many others, plus classic cuts by Louis Armstrong, Dr. John and Fats Domino
WASHINGTON/LOS ANGELES (Oct. 17, 2005) – EMI Group, SONYBMG, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Concord Music Group along with the Recording Industry Association of America today announced the release of Hurricane Relief: Come Together Now, a double CD multi-artist benefit album to aid the Gulf Coast victims devastated by recent hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
All of the participating artists, publishers, songwriters and record companies have waived their royalties and donated their services to this worthy cause, as have the American Federation of Musicians and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. The collection will be in stores in mid-November.
This special compilation contains new material by some of the most popular artists from all genres of music as well as classic recordings from New Orleans natives Louis Armstrong, Dr. John and Fats Domino. Coldplay, Norah Jones, Wyclef Jean, John Mayer, James Brown, Aaron Neville, Bonnie Raitt, R. Kelly, Barbra Streisand and Elton John are just a few of the many remarkable artists appearing on the record. “Flooded streets, shattered lives, broken hearts, yet through it all, the music never dies,” said Harry Connick Jr. “This CD helps us heal a place that has given so much music to the world.”
RIAA, on behalf of its member companies and all of the participating artists, publishers and songwriters, will donate 100 percent of its net proceeds – at least $15.00 (US) – from the purchase price of this double CD to these charities for hurricane relief: American Red Cross (www.redcross.org ), to help provide food, shelter, counseling and financial assistance to those in need; Habitat for Humanity (www.habitat.org ), for the long-term goal of rebuilding homes; and MusiCares Hurricane Relief Fund (www.musicares.org ), to provide direct assistance to the members of the music community who have been affected or displaced.
This is truly an unprecedented industry-wide project, as every major label came together to help ease the enormous suffering the hurricanes caused along the Gulf Coast. “The music community is proud to do its part and come together – merging the great talent of this industry and the overwhelming desire of so many to lend a hand – in one united effort to help the victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita,” said Mitch Bainwol, chair and CEO, RIAA. “New Orleans is one of this nation’s great cradles of music, and so it is especially important that we do everything we can to also help musicians get back on their feet.” Norman Lear, co-owner of Concord Music Group added, “We’re happy we’re in the right business at the right time to serve.”
The music on Hurricane Relief: Come Together Now represents the breadth and scope of the entire music industry. Coldplay delivers a mesmerizing live take of “Fix You,” James Brown contributes a live performance of his classic “Try Me,” Sting sings the beautiful “Moon Over Bourbon Street,” R. Kelly sparkles on the specially recorded “Let Your Light Shine,” Elton John performs a resounding live version of “I’m Still Standing” recorded in New Orleans, Harry Connick Jr. resonates with his heartfelt “City Beneath the Sea,” Fats Domino represents with “Walking to New Orleans,” Barbra Streisand offers the gorgeous unreleased track “I Believe,” Bonnie Raitt dazzles with “I Will Not Be Broken” and John Fogerty rocks with a blistering live version of “Born On The Bayou,” just to name a few. In addition, an array of wonderful talent that includes Ringo Starr, Mary J. Blige, Steven Tyler, Ozzy Osbourne, Josh Groban, Andrea Boccellli, Robert Downey Jr. and Gwen Stefani, among others, perform the Eric Clapton classic, “Tears In Heaven.” The artist response throughout the industry to this effort has been overwhelming. Additional artists and songs will be announced very soon.
“Heart of America” was written by Tim Blixseth and features the stellar voices of Michael McDonald, Winona Judd and Eric Benet. This standout track was chosen by NBC’s Today Show, Warner Music Group and Habitat For Humanity to use for all of their hurricane relief efforts and will be performed before game three of the World Series.
The song “Come Together Now” contains lyrics that convey a universal theme of unity and encourages people to reach out with compassion and understanding. This inspirational song features 27 of today’s most successful international recording artists, who recorded their individual parts over the past few weeks. The collaborating celebrities include: The Game, Jesse McCartney, Aaron Carter, Nick Carter, Chingy, Natalie Cole, Gavin DeGraw, Celine Dion, Anthony Hamilton, Wyclef Jean, JoJo, Patti LaBelle, John Legend, Kimberley Locke, Brian McKnight, AJ McLean, Mya, Stacie Orrico, Kelly Price, Lee Ryan, Angie Stone, Joss Stone, Garu, Glenn Lewis, Tren’l, R.L. Huggar, and Ruben Studdard. The song was written and produced by Sharon Stone, Denise Rich, Damon Sharpe and Mark Feist.
About the RIAA
The Recording Industry Association of America is the trade group that represents the U.S. recording industry. Its mission is to foster a business and legal climate that supports and promotes our members’ creative and financial vitality. Its members are the record companies that comprise the most vibrant national music industry in the world. RIAA® members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 90% of all legitimate sound recordings produced and sold in the United States. In support of this mission, the RIAA works to protect intellectual property rights worldwide and the First Amendment rights of artists; conduct consumer industry and technical research; and monitor and review - - state and federal laws, regulations and policies. The RIAA® also certifies Gold®, Platinum®, Multi-Platinum™, and Diamond sales awards, as well as Los Premios De Oro y Platino™, an award celebrating Latin music sales.