The response of the music community to the needs of those suffering in the wake of Hurricane Katrina continues to grow.
The response of the music community to the needs of those suffering in the wake of Hurricane Katrina continues to grow. New initiatives involving Alan Jackson, Juvenile, Velvet Revolver, Hilary Duff, the Farm Aid organization are among the latest to join the wave of support.
A resident of Slidell, La., whose home was completely destroyed by Monday's massive storm, Juvenile is putting his own worries aside to concentrate on organizing a series of benefit concerts with H3Enterprises. The artist and the company, which is behind the fast food chain HipHopSodaShops, hope to stage shows in New York, Cleveland, Atlanta, Fayetteville, Los Angeles and Miami, along with a multi-media hip-hop event.
Juvenile, who recently signed with H3 and plans to open 30 HipHopSodaShops throughout Louisiana, is also slated to take part in BET's Sept. 9 telethon to raise funds for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. He has more than 200 relatives unaccounted for in the ravaged Gulf Coast area.
In addition to his previously confirmed participation in the Sept. 27 Great American Country/Grand Ole Opry benefit event, Jackson has pledged all proceeds from his Sept. 8 concert at Columbus, Ohio's Germain Amphitheater to the Red Cross.
Originally slated to play the Sept. 9 opening concert at the new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Biloxi, Miss., rock act Velvet Revolver will instead play Sept. 6 at Orlando, Fla.'s Hard Rock Live, with 100% of ticket and bar proceeds benefiting the Red Cross. Addition, Hard Rock Cafes worldwide will encourage patrons to round their checks up to the nearest dollar or more, with all additional monies to be donated.
Teen star Duff, who currently holds the No. 1 position on The Billboard 200 with her compilation "Most Wanted" (Hollywood), is donating $200,000 to the Red Cross and an additional $50,000 to USA Harvest. "People are missing family members, and they have absolutely nothing left, not even food or water," she says. "I want to do everything I can to help those who have survived to help rebuild their lives."
Farm Aid, which will hold its 20th anniversary concert Sept. 18 in Tinley Park, Ill., plans to assist farm families hurt by the hurricane. In addition to sending an initial $30,000 to its partners in the Southeast, the organization has activated the Family Farm Disaster Fund to accept donations. "This is a moment when each of us can take stock of what we can offer to everyone affected by this catastrophe," Farm Aid president Willie Nelson says. "A disaster of this magnitude can be a breaking point for many Southern family farms."
Pearl Jam will donate a portion of the proceeds from its fall tour opener last night (Sept. 1) in George, Wash., to an as-yet-undetermined hurricane relief fund.
Gloria Gaynor is the first artist committed to an Oct. 8 concert/telethon being organized by Spirit Ministries. The non-profit organization is based in Opelousas, an above-sea level Louisiana city that has taken in many evacuees. The benefit event, which is expected to draw further celebrity talent, will raise funds to aid displaced people "for as long as they are in need of assistance."
Jam band the String Cheese Incident has donated four of the semi-trucks that it uses for its touring endeavors to the Conscious Alliance. The Boulder, Col.-based non-profit organization is working with community food banks in Houston to procure and distribute food to the thousands of refugees that have been relocated there.
Finally, Mississippi-hailing rock group 3 Doors Down has produced a public service announcement with information on contacting various relief organizations, while indie rock group the Juliana Theory has pledged to donate a portion of the proceeds from of merchandise sales from its official Web site to the Red Cross.