While Simon Cowell was attending the National Television Awards in London on Wednesday night, the “American Idol” judge confirmed to reporters that he is securing acts for a charity single he’s putting together to help aid the victims of last Tuesday’s devastating earthquake in Haiti.
Cowell was reportedly encouraged to do the single by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who reportedly said he would waive the country’s VAT (value added tax) so that more proceeds from the track could go to charity. U.K. paper The Sun speculated that in addition to big names such as Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, Cowell would recruit his own reality-show stars, Leona Lewis and Susan Boyle, to record the track.
“We are going to do a single. I’ve got to get it together in 48 hours,” he said, according to the Telegraph. “I wanted to do something for Haiti, and we had a request from the prime minister to put a record together.”
In a Sky News video from backstage at the awards show, Cowell said that he isn’t sure who might be able to come onboard for the track, but he already had a confirmation from fellow “X Factor” judge Cheryl Cole. “I don’t know who’s available, but I will get a record out in seven to 10 days. … [I want] as many good people as possible. We’ll get a lot of people.”
Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie are also said to be working on an anniversary edition of “We Are the World,” with proceeds going to Haiti relief. Usher, Natalie Cole, and John Legend have been invited to participate and it the recording will be later released as a video and single. Rihanna and Maxwell also recorded performances on “Oprah” that are being sold to raise money for the cause.
The music performances from MTV’s “Hope for Haiti Now” benefit on Friday will be available for purchase and download on the iTunes Store. Beginning on the day of the benefit, iTunes customers will be able to exclusively pre-order both the full Hope for Haiti Now album ($7.99) and the two-hour video telecast ($1.99). Pre-orders will be delivered in the days following the telethon. Individual audio performances will also be available for purchase and download for 99 cents each in the days following the telethon. Apple, the record labels and the artists will donate their share of the proceeds to Haiti relief funds managed by “Hope for Haiti Now” charities.
Learn more about what you can do to help with earthquake-relief efforts in Haiti , and for more information, see Think MTV. Join George Clooney and Wyclef Jean for MTV’s “Hope for Haiti” telethon , airing commercial-free Friday, January 22, at 8 p.m. ET.