Michael Jackson’s Troubled 9/11 Single Now A Charity Download

Delayed release repurposed to benefit children's charities.

Two years after its inception, Michael Jackson’s all-star charity
single, “What More Can I Give,” is finally giving to someone.

The song is now being offered as a paid download ($2 a pop) via the Web sites www.whatmorecanigive.com and www.musicforgiving.com. A portion of the proceeds from the download fee go to various children’s charities, including Oneness, Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, and the International Child Art Foundation, each of which support arts programs to eliminate racism, increase education and connect children throughout the world, respectively.

Originally designed to benefit victims of September 11, the song attracted a celeb-filled roster, including Mariah Carey, Beyoncé Knowles, ‘NSYNC, Mya and Shakira, among others, who contributed vocals to two versions with the intention to release an English as well as a Spanish version of the song (see “‘NSYNC Join Jackson’s Charity Single; Mariah, Celine Sing In Spanish” ).

Those plans were shelved, however, amid disputes over who owned the song and how it would be released. Some say the song was withheld when the song’s producer Marc Schaffel’s background in pornography came to light (see “Did Porn, Sony Or McDonald’s Sink Jackson Charity Single?” ), though he stated at the time that the label didn’t want the song to overshadow Jackson’s Invincible album.

Whatever the reason, the song didn’t see the light of day until a year ago this month, when it was leaked on the Internet and radio (see “Michael Jackson’s 9/11 Single Hits Radio One Year Late” ). At the time, Schaffel noted that it was unfortunate the song be “out there and not do its intended purpose.”

Some of that purpose is now being regained via the charity download offer, which Jackson set up with Clear Channel.