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Tag: Charity (21-30 of 64)

Did Wyclef Jean misuse millions in Haiti charity funds? He refutes new news reports

Haitian-born solo artist and former Fugee Wyclef Jean is defending his charity, Yele Haiti, after a report by the New York Post questioned the spending — or lack thereof — of funds raised for disaster relief.

According to a Sunday article in the Post, Yele Haiti spent only a “pittance” of the $16 million collected after the devastating 2010 earthquake on emergency aid including questionable contracts — such as $350,000 to a construction firm run by Jean’s brother-in-law and $1 million to a Florida firm that may or may not exist.

Jean has defended the charity, calling the article “misleading, deceptive and incomplete.” He said that decisions made by Yele Haiti were made quickly in the aftermath of a catastrophic event and he stands by those decisions. He also provides some explanation for the Florida contract — with Amisphere Farm Labor Inc. — saying the Post failed to mention the preparation and delivery of 100,000 meals by that organization.

According to the Post, however, no trace of Amisphere Farm Labor could be found in Florida beyond its incorporation in 2008. The business’s listed address is an auto-repair shop in Miami’s Little Haiti and records show that the head of the company purchased three properties in Florida last year including an upscale waterfront condo..

These accusations are only the latest round of controversy surrounding Yele Haiti. Days after the earthquake struck, allegations arose that Jean had been appropriating charity funds for personal use, a claim he disputed. Jean stepped down as the head of Yele Haiti in August 2010.

Read more:
Wyclef Jean denies personal benefit from Haiti charity
Wyclef Jean resigns as head of Yéle Haiti charity

Dixie Chicks headline concert for Texas wildfires relief

Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines told a thunderous crowd Monday night that “there was zero hesitation” when the band was asked to perform with fellow country stars to raise money for victims of recent wildfires in her home state of Texas. She and her band mates joined Willie Nelson, George Strait and other musicians during a mega-concert in Austin that raised more than $500,000. A fire that started Sept. 4 in Central Texas’ Bastrop County destroyed at least 1,500 homes and killed two people, marking the most devastating of the numerous fires that have scorched about 6,000 square miles in Texas in the last year.

Maines told the crowd she was worried that without homes, “you all might not look lovely.” But she told them they all looked fantastic. “When they called us to do this show, there was zero hesitation,” she said. “You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can’t take Texas out of the girl.” READ FULL STORY

Troubled Michael Jackson tribute concert hits new snag with Kiss's Gene Simmons

When the news first broke that a cabal of Michael Jackson’s family members (lead by Michael’s mother Katherine) were planning a tribute concert for the late King of Pop in Wales later this year, the red flags immediately went up.

After all, we’ve been through this sort of thing before (remember that concert that was supposed to take place in Vienna a few months after Jackson’s passing in 2009?), and it didn’t help that the Jacksons announced the existence of the concert without mentioning a single performer on the lineup.

Also not helpful? The fact that only hours after Michael Forever was introduced, another set of Jackson family members (including brothers Jermaine and Randy) issued a statement saying they did not endorse the show—though only because it would take place during the manslaughter trial of Jackson physician Conrad Murray, and not because it’s a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad idea). That seemed like a good enough reason to close up shop on the whole thing, right?


Justin Timberlake will bring his annual all-star benefit concert back to Las Vegas -- EXCLUSIVE

He makes us dance, he makes us laugh, he makes us rock our bodies in ways we never thought possible—let’s be real here, Justin Timberlake can make us do just about anything.

This fall, the 30-year-old star will put his powers to good use by co-hosting the fourth annual Justin Timberlake & Friends concert, this year dubbed the Old School Jam, a benefit for the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

The concert, scheduled for Oct. 1 at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, is part of Timberlake’s weeklong men’s pro golf tournament, also held to benefit Shriners.

He will co-host the show with comedian Wayne Brady, with a performance lineup that features artists hand-picked by Timberlake for their influence on him: Earth, Wind & Fire, Charlie Wilson, Vanilla Ice, the Commodores, the Sugar Hill Gang, Sister Sledge and Color Me Badd.

According to a rep for the event, the last three Old School Jam concerts have raised over $1 million for the Shriners Hospital network.

Tickets will go on sale Monday, Aug. 15 at 10 a.m. PST and range in price from $100 to $500 plus applicable live entertainment tax. They can be purchased at the Theatre for the Performing Arts box office at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, all Ticketmaster outlets, online at, or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. 


Justin Timberlake directs, appears in new video for FreeSol’s ‘Hoodies On, Hats Low': Watch it here
Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon perform the sequel to their ‘History of Rap': Watch it here
All-star Japan Relief album on iTunes now: Madonna, Gaga, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Eminem, U2, Elton John, Justin Timberlake, and more contribute 38 hits to $9.99 comp

U2, Britney Spears, Eminem, Justin Bieber, hundreds more throw their support behind Bob Marley-affiliated Save The Children campaign for East Africa: Learn how you can also give

Save the Children works all over the world to combat hunger, sickness and abuse among the world’s underprivileged children, and starting today they are launching a massive outreach program to aid East Africa—and dozens of the biggest music acts in the world have pledged to drum up support for the program on their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.

Among the names: Lady Gaga, U2, Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Eminem, Avril Lavigne, Rihanna, Madonna, and Beyoncé. (If you see a star send out a message with the hash tag #beafriend, that’s them throwing their support behind STC.)

The name of the social media campaign is I’m Gonna Be Your Friend, which takes its title from a lyric in Bob Marley & the Wailers’ 1973 song “High Tide or Low Tide,” and their goal is to get in front of hundreds of millions eyes to encourage people to donate to Save the Children and help the million suffering children in Somalia and the rest of East Africa.

The proceeds from download sales of “High Tide or Low Tide” will go directly to Save the Children, and filmmaker Kevin MacDonald (director of The Last Kind of Scotland and the forthcoming Bob Marley documentary Marley) has put together a video that features footage from Somalia with “Tide” laid over it, which you can watch here:

Lost Elliott Smith song, 'The Real Estate,' surfaces on his high school friend's charity disc

Singer-songwriter Elliott Smith in 2003.

For those who thought they’d bootlegged every last possible song from the late indie-rock hero Elliott Smith, it’s your lucky day.

An unreleased Smith track called “The Real Estate” will appear July 19 on Live from Nowhere Near You II, a new three-disc benefit comp curated by Kevin Moyer. When we first heard the news, we wondered (as we sifted through our own stacks of Smith recordings), how did it resurface eight years after Smith’s death?

Turns out Moyer went to high school with Smith in downtown Portland, Oregon. He originally reached out to Smith years ago when he was working on the first volume of the compilation, which benefits Outside In, a Portland-based charity for homeless youth, but Smith didn’t end up contributing.

“I think this was either smack in the middle of his downward spiral or during his subsequent rise and recovery from it,” Moyer said in a statement. Sadly, a few months after the charity record was released, he learned that Smith had passed away. “I was completely and totally devastated, and still am.”

Years afterward, Moyer met up with Larry Crane, who owns Portland’s Jackpot! Studio, where Smith often recorded. Crane had just finished mixing Smith’s posthumous release New Moon, and as he listened to unreleased tracks with Moyer, they discovered an unlabeled mystery track hiding between two other known songs on a DAT tape.


Rise Against premiere video for 'Make It Stop (September's Children)' as part of It Gets Better Project: Watch it here

Earlier this year, Rise Against put out their excellent sixth album Endgame, which further solidified the Chicago quartet as the premiere agit-punk combo in the land.

They just released the second single from the album, “Make It Stop (September’s Children)”—a track written as a reaction to the rash of teen suicides in the face of homophobic bullying last year, including Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi and Indiana high school student Billy Lucas.

To address the grander theme of bullying, Rise Against reached out to Dan Savage, noted sex columnist and founder of the It Gets Better Project, which has become a crucial program to help bullied teens of all stripes cope with their abuse and remind them that life is worth living.

The result is a powerful clip that tackles these issues in a real and inspirational way. Watch it after the jump.


Lady Gaga speaks out at massive Europride event in Rome: Can she meaningfully affect gay rights? -- VIDEO


Thousands of Little Roman Monsters put their paws up on Saturday night. That’s because Lady Gaga performed at Europride, the annual, pan-European gay pride event held this year in the Italian capital.

For Gaga, who has dedicated herself to gay rights on stage and off, Europride became an especially personal affair. In a nearly twenty-minute speech she gave before performing heartfelt acoustic renderings of “Born This Way” and “The Edge of Glory,” she not only proudly identified her Italian heritage, but did something highly unusual for Gaga: in front of thousands at the ancient Circus Maximus she called herself by her birth name, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta.

Check out the video of her speech and her performance here: READ FULL STORY

'Winning': Sheen's catchphrase spawns a rap collaboration with Snoop Dogg

As The Sheen will tell you, “winning” isn’t just the opposite of losing. It’s a way of life. And a line of t-shirts. And it could be, according to Jimmy Fallon, a fragrance. Well, Sheen’s “winning” dictum has taken one more step from being a mere internet meme to being added to the OED as hashtagged slang. His Sheenness has collaborated with none other than Snoop Dogg to drop a #winning-inspired rap, whose download proceeds will apparently be donated to assist those affected by last month’s tornadoes in the South. Take a listen to the NSFW track below:


Madonna's Raising Malawi scraps school-building project after sinking in $3.8 million

Madonna’s high-profile effort to build a $15 million school in the impoverished country of Malawi has collapsed after her organization put $3.8 million into the now-abandoned project.

Raising Malawi—the charity Madonna co-founded with fellow Kabbalah enthusiast Michael Berg—announced that in spite of the $18 million raised thus far, the project has been shelved.

“A thoughtful decision has been made to discontinue plans for the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls, as it was originally conceived,” Berg said in an email to past contributors. READ FULL STORY

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