Music stars rally to raise tsunami aid funds

Singer Cliff Richard, pop star Boy George and other British music stars plan to release a song to raise money for victims of the devastating Asian tsunami, the song’s composer said.

Mike Read wrote the song “Grief Never Grows Old” before the Boxing Day disaster but said he was now getting stars on board to release it within weeks to raise money for survivors of the tsunami, which killed more than 144,000 people by Monday’s count.

“We’ve tracked down quite a few people, who have said :’Yes I would love to do a few lines on it’,” Read told Sky News television.

Read, a radio DJ, said Robin Gibb of Bee Gees fame was taking part as well as opera singer Russell Watson.

Richard said: “I have always felt that those of us that have these kind of careers, whether it be broadcasting or singing, acting, dancing, we are in an incredibly privileged group of people and it’s just nice to feel you can actually play a part.”

Charity singles have proved hugely popular fundraisers in Britain, where the reworked Band Aid 20 charity single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, featuring Dido, Jamelia and other stars, spent several weeks at the top of the charts.

The single was knocked off the top spot on Sunday by “Against All Odds” from Steve Brookstein after the winner of talent show “The X factor” pledged all proceeds from his debut single would go to victims of the tsunami.

Separately, managers at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, said they were planning a charity concert at the 74,500-seat venue, and hope to raise more than 1 million pounds for tsunami-stricken Asian countries.

Managers said they wanted to hold a concert on the weekend of January 22-23.

“As the largest indoor arena in Europe we feel we have the best chance of pulling off something like this. It’s too early to come up with any names, but we’ve been chasing a strong list of ‘A’ list acts to see if they would be willing to take part,” said general manager Paul Sergeant.

The British, haunted by images of the disaster, have donated up to 1 million pounds an hour in the country’s fastest ever charity appeal. The government’s donation of 50 million pounds has been dwarfed by the 60 million pounds given by the public.

Stories from the thousands of British tourists who were holidaying in the region to escape the grey winter at home have filled the country’s newspapers.

The British death toll stood at 40 on Monday.

Source: Reuters