September 2, 2005

Music-related hurricane relief efforts grow

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Faith Hill and Aaron Neville have
been added to Friday night's "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 September 9 and
September 27, respectively.

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

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 and 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.

Additionally, 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.