It is very comforting to know that when an unfortunate disaster strikes we unite and try to help those affected in any way that we can. Many actors and musicians have shown their support whenever there is a country in need or when disaster demolishes towns in any corner of the world. Many of you probably remember “We are the World” written my Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie in 1985 which united 25 artists to raise money for Africa, a country whose 1984-1985 famine killed around one million people. Included in the group of top name artists were Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Kenny Loggins, Ray Charles, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Cindy Lauper, and Bob Dylan to name a few. The promotion and merchandise aided the success of "We Are the World" and raised over $63 million for humanitarian aid in Africa and the US.
Last year following the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti, Lionel Richie and Quincy Jones decided to do a remake of "We are the World” to once again raise money for a country that was deeply affected. "We Are the World 25 for Haiti" was musically structured similar to "We Are the World", but includes a rap verse which was written by some of the song's hip hop artists. Michael Jackson died months before the song's release, but his material from the 1985 recording sessions was incorporated into the song and music video, as per the request of his mother, Katherine. The song was recorded by over 80 artists including Justin Bieber, Jennifer Hudson, Tony Bennett, Janet Jackson, Barbara Streisand, Pink, Toni Braxton, Kanye West, Carlos Santana, and LL Cool J to name a few. There was also a Spanish version produced by Gloria and Emilio Estefan “Somos el Mundo por Haiti”, which included the incredible voices of artists such as Chayanne, Ricky Martin, Juanes, Olga Tañon, Thalia, Luis Enrique, Shakira, Jon Secada, Willy,Chirino, Luis Miguel, and Daddy Yankee.
This year on March 11, 2011 a devastating earthquake and subsequent sunami hit Japan causing widespread destruction. Many organizations and funds were mobilized to provide relief to those affected by the disaster. Some of the most listened-known Argentine and Mexican musicians released two albums named “From Argentina to Japan: Ganbare! and “Voices for Japan” as part of an initiative that aims to raise funds for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that hit the country of Japan on March 11th. According to latercera.com 30 mexican artists decided to unite their voices in a charity drive for “Voices for Japan”, which will target sales to those affected by the earthquake in Japan. Sponsored by record companies Sony and EMI, plus a suite of large companies, the initiative is an echo of the one held last year in a similar manner to benefit earthquake victims in Haiti. Proceeds from the sale of the album, at a price of $ 99 pesos (about $8.00) - will be channeled to the Mexican Red Cross which in turn will transfer to its counterpart in Japan. "We could not be indifferent to such tragedy", said Roberto Lopez, president of Sony Music Mexico.
During the ceremony, Japanese Ambassador to Mexico, Masaki Ono, thanked the Mexican institutions for their encouraging words and thanked the Mexican government for their donations of food and water. Around 15,000 cd’s have been edited and are hitting stores now, although the figure is likely to expand. Additionally they will be having a benefit concert, which will be broadcasted over the internet, thanks to the result of the digital platform agreement between Sony and Grupo Modelo, Corona Music. Some of the name of the participating artists that have been released at this time are Thalia, Alejandro Fernandez, Julieta Vanegas, Alonda de la Parra, Anahi, Reyli, Alejandra Guzman, Aleks Syntek, OV7, and Camila among others.
According to americalate.com, the other album “Fom Argentina to Japan: Ganbare!, produced by Sony Music will be released on April 6th, including songs like "Color Esperanza" (Color of Hope) by Diego Torres, "Dar es Dar” (Giving is giving)," Fito Paez, "Deja La Vida Volar” Let the living fly," Mercedes Sosa, and "Puente” (Bridge),Gustavo Cerati. Among the fourteen artists participating in the album, which features the artwork of Augusto Costhanzo and whose title refers to the expression that means "mind" and "strength" are also Alfredo Casero, Vicentico, Gustavo Cordera and Kevin Johansen. I am sure both of these projects will be very successful and will raise a huge amount of money which is very much needed by the people of Japan. “Voices for Japan” and “Ganbare” intend to meet or exceed the figure of nearly 4 million pesos, which was raised by “Voices For Haiti” in 2010.