Black Eyed Peas, Backstreet Boys, Boyz II Men, Lauryn Hill and Wyclef Jean are teaming up to raise money for tsunami victims by throwing a concert in a nation within the devastated region: Malaysia. Organizers hope that the Force of Nature concert reminds people not only that the relief effort is far from over, but also that a bigger power than the tsunami could be the human spirit.
“Sometimes things are about money, and sometimes things are about building communities, reconstructing, restoring people’s ways of life that were taken away from them by nature,” Will.I.Am said.
“Think about a little kid, 4 years old, whose parents were in the tsunami. He doesn’t understand what’s going on,” Fergie said. “This child is going to need help; this child is going to need nurturing, just like every other child is going to need. We need to do something to help fund programs so that these children can get through life.”
The concert, which will take place March 18 at Kuala Lumpur’s Stadium Putra, springs from a local nonprofit organization called Force of Nature Aid Organization, which is raising funds and awareness for victims of natural disasters. Since this concert is being underwritten by a consortium of Malaysian private enterprises, 100 percent of the proceeds from the show will go toward the long-term regeneration of Malaysia’s neighbors. On the committee to spread the word are Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh and Harvey Weinstein.
This isn’t the first benefit that Black Eyed Peas have played for tsunami relief (see “Peas, Timberlake And James Brown Get Funky For Tsunami Relief” ), but the group said that it is involved — and will stay involved — because it remembers how many people pitched in to help America after September 11. “We know what that’s like to have fear: ’Oh my God, what is tomorrow going to bring?’ ” Taboo explained. “To express that, to connect to people who have that fear, but of nature, we just share sympathy for them. We feel a lot of remorse that they lost a lot of people, and so we do what we do and try to create some magic.”
“We believe in aiding people in need and utilizing what we do for a living and for fun to help people out,” Will.I.Am said.
“When you perform, you can take them away for an hour of their life to think about something else,” Apl de Ap said. “We have the power to deliver a message, to change, to bring help. It’s a good power.”