When tragedy strikes, it can bring out the best in people. Now, it seems that music fans are finding a channel for their own good will toward Haiti, as iTunes and some of the world's top artists are setting records with the Hope for Haiti Now album.
iTunes confirmed Thursday (January 28) that tracks from last week's landmark benefit show have combined to generate more than $3 million in relief funds. On Wednesday, the Hope for Haiti Now album became the first-ever digital-only album to debut at #1 on the SoundScan charts. Through Sunday of this past weekend, the album was purchased and downloaded more than 170,000 times — nearly all of the sales coming from the iTunes store.
As the Hope for Haiti Now album approaches its one-week anniversary, records continue to be set: The album's pre-order, which went live shortly before Friday's massive telecast, became the biggest one-day album pre-order in iTunes history. The album has also hit #1 on the iTunes chart in 18 different countries.
In addition to the iTunes numbers, the telethon itself has gathered more than $61 million in public donations, drew 83 million viewers and attracted 5.8 million streams on the Web.
Much of the success is owed to the acts who performed at the telethon, including Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Shakira, Christina Aguilera, Dave Matthews, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, Coldplay and many more.
"Hope for Haiti Now" will continue accepting donations for the next six months, via the following methods:
» Online: HopeForHaitiNow.org
» Phone: (877) 99-HAITI
» Text: Text "GIVE" to 50555
» Mail: Hope for Haiti Now Fund, Entertainment Industry Foundation, 1201 West 5th St., Suite T-700, Los Angeles, CA 90017