Some of the biggest names in UK and American music have joined forces to record an emotive cover of the REM classic Everybody Hurts, to raise money for charities supporting the relief efforts in Haiti. The final line up of featured artists is: Mariah Carey, Jon Bon Jovi, Robbie Williams, Kylie, Rod Stewart, Leona Lewis, Alexandra Burke, Miley Cyrus, Take That, Joe McElderry, Cheryl Cole, JLS, Mika, Michael Buble, James Blunt, James Morrison, Susan Boyle, and Westlife.
The single is available to download from February 7th, and in stores on CD from February 8th. All proceeds will be split 50/50 between DEC (Disasters Emergency Committee) and The Sun newspaper's 'Helping Haiti' appeal. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has pledged to waive VAT on the single. The Haitian earthquake, which occurred on 12th January 2010 measuring a catastrophic 7.0 on the richter scale, is already estimated to have caused the deaths of over 250,000 people. 250,000 are in need of urgent aid and more than 2 million people are estimated homeless and in need of long term support to help rebuild their lives.
To donate directly to the DEC appeal, visit dec.org.uk. The CD single can be pre-ordered from Play.com, Amazon and HMV. You can hear a clip of the song on the websites of several of the artists involved, e.g. alexandraburkeofficial.com.
Simon Cowell, who is organizing the recording and release of the record for Haiti said: "We have a short time to do this but already we are getting some fantastic support. Right now this is an absolute priority for us all, the people of Haiti need as much help as we can give them as soon as possible, every day the situation becomes more desperate."
Robbie Williams said: "I'm very honoured to be asked to contribute to the single. We can all do something to help the people of Haiti - and I urge everyone to do what they can."
Mariah Carey said: "When Simon Cowell approached me to take part in the charity single for Haiti I had absolutely no hesitation and I said yes instantly. Obviously we are all extremely saddened to see the pain and the hurt of the people of Haiti and I feel grateful as an artist to be able to help. I hope 'Everybody Hurts' helps to raise a very large amount of funds so the people of Haiti can rebuild their shattered lives. My heart goes out to every single person that has suffered and been affected by this tragedy."
Cheryl Cole said "It's heartbreaking to see what is happening in Haiti. Hopefully the money from Everybody Hurts will help the people of Haiti rebuild their lives."
JLS star Ortise Williams, who lost relatives in the quake said: "The tragedy is very close to my heart."We hope to raise as much money as possible. It's great to be working with such talented artists, all pulling together to make a difference through song."
Alexandra Burke said: "It's truly devastating what has happened in Haiti and if I can help in anyway then I will. This song will bring awareness to the suffering of the innocent people of Haiti and help them rebuild their lives and homes. When these natural disasters occur, we have to work together to make a difference. Please support us"
Kylie Minogue said: "My heart goes out to all those affected in Haiti - the loss they have suffered is incomprehensible. I'm honoured to be part of this project knowing funds will be delivered to the source."
Rod Stewart said: I can't think of a more fitting song than 'Everybody Hurts' to convey the unimaginable tragedy that is Haiti. I hope the record sales raise a lot of money because the country certainly needs it.
James Morrison said: "I'm so proud and honoured to be part of something so huge, which can hopefully go some way towards helping the poor people who are suffering in Haiti.
Joe McElderry said: "It's an honour to be a part of the Haiti charity single. It's truly devastating what has happened over there and I want to do anything I can to help and raise money. It's great to be apart of such an amazing line up who have all taken time out of their schedule to help with this tragic cause"
Susan Boyle said: "The Haiti earthquake has caused devastation and suffering that most of us will never experience nor could imagine. I feel privileged to be a part of such a wonderful project that will raise money to help the country."
Disasters Emergency Committee, Chief Executive Brendan Gormley said: "We are absolutely delighted to help those recording, producing and buying this charity single make a difference in Haiti. More and more water, food, household items and medical supplies are getting through to the earthquake survivors. Buying the charity single will greatly aid our work and help us work with survivors in Haiti to rebuild new lives from the ruins."