PARIS, France (A.W., AFP)—Dozens of French rappers and pop stars are joining renowned singers Charles Aznavour and Youssou N’Dour to record a music video on Jan. 22 to raise funds for quake-stricken Haiti. “A Gesture for Dear Haiti” (“Un geste pour Haiti cherie“) will be widely distributed to French television stations, appealing to viewers to make a donation for quake relief.
Hip hop duo Neg’Marrons wrote the music and each of the 40 odd artists would contribute a line to the lyrics of the song that would be recorded in a Paris studio, said a spokesman for Trace TV music channel. Slam poet Grand Corps Malade, rappers Passi and Stomy Bugsy were among the big names taking part along with 85-year-old Aznavour, who is French Armenian, and N’Dour, of Senegalese origin. Haitian-born stand-up comic Anthony Kavanagh, who lives in Canada, separately called on French artists to organize a fundraising telethon for Haiti, where tens of thousands are feared dead from the quake. “We have to do something. We have to send money. There is nothing left there, but abysmal misery,” said Kavanagh.
Rapper Kery James, whose parents are of Haitian origin, will be giving a charity concert while leading French playwright Robert Hossein said all proceeds from a theater performance next week will go toward medical relief, AFP reported.
Aznavour launched a similar initiative in the aftermath of the Dec. 7, 1988 earthquake in Armenia. He collaborated with dozens of famous French singers and released the song “Pour Toi Armenie,” raising funds for relief. In the following years, he continued raising funds for reconstruction efforts in Armenia through his own organization.
Aznavour has appeared in more than 60 movies, composed about 1,000 songs (including at least 150 in English, 100 in Italian, 70 in Spanish, and 50 in German), and sold well over 100 million records. In 1998, he was chosen as Entertainer of the Century by CNN and users of Time Online from around the globe. He was recognized as the century’s outstanding performer, with nearly 18 percent of the total vote, edging out Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan. He has sung for presidents, popes, and royalty, as well as at humanitarian events, and is the founder of the charitable organization “Aznavour for Armenia” along with his long-time friend and impresario Levon Sayan.
Aznavour started his global farewell tour in late 2006, which continues to this day. In 2009, he was appointed as Ambassador of Armenia to Switzerland, as well as Armenia’s permanent delegate to the United Nations at Geneva.
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