In an effort reminiscent of 1985’s “We Are the World” fund-raising drive, a group of pop stars led by Michael Jackson plans to record a new song to raise $50 million for survivors and families of victims in last week’s terror attack.
Jackson, Destiny’s Child and Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys all plan to record a new song, titled “What More Can I Give,” that Jackson will produce personally.
Other singers committed to the effort include Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake of ‘N Sync, and Mya.
“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.”
Proceeds from the song’s distribution will go to a relief fund for the victims’ families and survivors.
The pop singer is currently working on the “What More Can I Give.” Jackson’s New York-based spokesman, Howard Rubenstein, said the song will be released as soon as possible, and more celebrity singers are lining up to be part in the effort.
Jackson co-wrote and performed “We Are the World,” in which scores of pop stars participated, raising $65 million for victims of starvation in Africa.
Along with an English-language version of “What More Can I Give,” Jackson and the other singers plan to record a Spanish-language version.
Meanwhile, last week’s tragedy is effecting the music business in less positive ways. Teenage pop idol Britney Spears has canceled her promotional tour of Europe and South America, Australian Associated Press reported on Saturday.
“After much thought and deliberation it is with great regret that I have decided to cancel my planned European and Latin American promotion trips,” read a statement issued by Spears’ record company, Jive.
Spears arrived in Sydney last week on the last flight to leave the U.S. for Australia just before the devastating attacks in New York and Washington.
Her announcement meant she would not take her promotional tour to Cologne in Germany and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil this month and would instead return to be with her family in the U.S.
Film star Keanu Reeves and Australian tennis champion Lleyton Hewitt were on the same flight as Spears and were only told of the hijacked aircraft attacks after they touched down in Sydney.