Music-Related Hurricane Relief Efforts Grow
Faith Hill and Aaron Neville have been added to tonight's (Sept. 2) "A Concert for Hurricane Relief," staged in New York by NBC Universal and featuring Tim McGraw, Wynton Marsalis and Harry Connick JrFaith Hill and Aaron Neville have been added to tonight's (Sept. 2) "A Concert for Hurricane Relief," staged in New York by NBC Universal. Meanwhile, music channels BET and Great American Country have announced plans for benefit events on Sept. 9 and Sept. 27, respectively.
As previously reported, NBC's one-hour telethon will also feature Hill's husband, Tim McGraw, along with Harry Connick Jr. and Wynton Marsalis. Additionally, the Matt Lauer-hosted special will feature appearances by celebrities Leonardo DiCaprio, Mike Myers, Hilary Swank, Lindsay Lohan, Claire Danes, John Goodman, Eric LaSalle and Eli Manning.
All involved will encourage viewers to donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to help those suffering in the wake of Hurricane Katrina's wrath, which has devastated areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.
The event will be broadcast live from NBC's New York studios at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, CNBC and MSNBC, and will air on Sirius Satellite Radio's CNBC channel 101. The broadcast will be tape delayed on the West Coast and will re-air on CNBC at 11 p.m. ET and throughout the weekend.
BET has secured the commitment of Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Omarion, Common and David Banner, as well as New Orleans-based artists Juvenile and Master P. The music channel is coordinating its event with the National Urban League, the American Red Cross, Russell Simmons, the Warner Music Group and Essence Communications.
"The fury of nature has shown us once again what happens when its strength collides with the true frailty of humankind," BET president/CEO Debra L. Lee said.
Working with the Grand Ole Opry, GAC has enlisted Alan Jackson, Alison Krauss, Keith Urban, Marty Stuart, Craig Morgan, Julie Roberts and Billy Currington for "Country Reaches Out: An Opry Benefit for the American Red Cross." The show will be broadcast live and commercial-free from Nashville's Grand Ole Opry House on GAC. Additionally, the event will be simulcast on the DIY Network and Fine Living channels on television, the Opry's longtime terrestrial radio home WSM-AM, Sirius Satellite Radio and opry.com.
In addition to encouraging viewers and listeners to donate, all profits from ticket sales to the show will also benefit Red Cross efforts. Additional country artists are expected to join the lineup in the coming weeks.
Beyond the benefit show, the Grand Ole Opry and GAC are planning to host an online auction of country music memorabilia at opry.com and GACtv.com. GAC is also producing a series of public service announcements featuring artists and network personalities pleading for donations to the hurricane relief effort.
In other news, the Recording Academy has established the MusiCares Hurricane Relief Fund, and pledged an initial donation of $1 million "for music people affected by Hurricane Katrina." The money will be used to provide assistance with basic living expenses (shelter, food, utilities, transportation), medical expenses, clothing; instrument and recording equipment replacement and more.
The Academy's 12 regional chapters will also orchestrate local fundraising efforts to help musicians and those associated with music who have been affected by storm's wrath. "We encourage the industry and the world to help in any way they can," the organization says in a statement that directs those interested in helping to the MusiCares Web site.
Additonally, Putumayo World Music has announced plans to donate money stemming from a pair of compilations to relief efforts. The eclectic label has pledged the proceeds of this year's "Putumayo Presents: New Orleans" and 2002's "Putumayo Presents: Mississippi Blues" through the end of the year.
"The necessity for redevelopment of these regions is imperative to preserve the heritage that has influenced virtually every aspect of our culture and arts," the label says in a statement.