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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 September 2005, 09:26 GMT 10:26 UK
Jackson writes song for hurricane
Michael Jackson
Jackson co-wrote charity song We are the World in 1985
Michael Jackson has written a song for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, his spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

She said he hoped to record the track - tentatively titled From the Bottom of My Heart - with other artists and release it as a charity single.

In a statement Jackson said he would be "reaching out to others in the music industry to bring relief and hope".

"It pains me to watch the human suffering taking place in the Gulf region of my country," he said.

Jackson has been in the Middle East since his acquittal on child molestation charges in June.

However, spokeswoman Raymone Bain said he would return to the US to work on the single.

Jackson wrote We are the World with Lionel Richie in 1985 to raise money for African famine relief.

It pains me to watch the human suffering taking place in the Gulf region
Michael Jackson

Sheryl Crow, the Dixie Chicks, Rod Stewart and Paul Simon are among the artists who will perform during Friday's televised charity concert for victims of the Hurricane.

Neil Young, Alicia Keys and Randy Newman will also appear on Shelter from the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast alongside Hollywood stars Jennifer Aniston, Jack Nicholson and Cameron Diaz.

Louis Armstrong

The hour-long special will be carried on major US broadcast channels and more than two dozen cable outlets.

It will also be shown in more than 95 countries, including the UK.

Celebrities are stepping up their efforts to bring relief to those affected by Hurricane Katrina via a variety of channels.

  • Director Steven Spielberg and his family are donating $750,000 (407,000) to the American Red Cross and the same amount to the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund.

  • Actor George Clooney will give $1m (542,000) to the United Way Hurricane Katrina Response Fund.

  • Singer Barry Manilow will match every dollar donated through the Manilow Fund for Health and Hope.

  • Bill Cosby, Elvis Costello, Robert De Niro and Bette Midler are to take part in a benefit concert at New York's Lincoln Center on 17 September.

  • Green Day, REM, John Cusack and Moby have pledged to help find housing for flood victims through the political organisation MoveOn.org.

    "As a band we felt promoting the service was essential - literally a matter of life and death," said REM's Michael Stipe.

    Outspoken

    Singer Harry Connick Jr returned to New Orleans on Monday to survey the damage at his father's home.

    "It looks like pop's house made it through," he said. "Everything looks like it's pretty dry."

    Harry Connick Jr
    Connick Jr visited his father's New Orleans home on Monday
    The jazz star has agreed to be honorary chairman of Habitat for Humanity's Operation Home Delivery, a long-term rebuilding plan for the hurricane-affected areas.

    Connick Jr performed in A Concert for Hurricane Relief on Friday, which made headlines after Kanye West's outspoken comments against President Bush.

    "George Bush doesn't care about black people," West said at the televised benefit in New York.

    Actor Matt Damon has come out in support of the rap star. "I'm not a big fan (of Bush) so I let out a big cheer," he said on the TV show Access Hollywood.

    "Hopefully Bush will come out now and address the issue."

    Legendary New Orleans bluesman Dr John has also been critical of the authorities as he urged people to donate to relief efforts.

    "If anybody in the government would've done something about the disappearing wetlands for the past 50 years, then this probably wouldn't have been as bad," he said.

    And musician Prince has written two songs called SST and Brand New Orleans for download on his website. He will donate all proceeds to hurrican relief efforts.


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