Britney, Bono Fight AIDS

Pop stars team up on single to help AIDS battle in Africa

September 6, 2001 12:00 AM ET

Hoping to raise awareness about the AIDS epidemic claiming 5,000 African lives each day, artists including Bono, Wyclef Jean, Britney Spears, 'N Sync, Fred Durst, Missy Elliott, Gwen Stefani and Mary J. Blige have come together to record an all-star rendition of Marvin Gaye's protest anthem "What's Going On." While the organization hopes to release the re-vamped Gaye single on December 1st, Global AIDS awareness day, they are currently without a record label.

Recorded at a New York studio in early September, the collaboration was the brainchild of Leigh Blake, head of Artists Against AIDS Worldwide. Blake also co-founded the Red Hot Organization, which has released thirteen AIDS benefit albums since 1990.

Global AIDS Alliance is hoping to link the project with other efforts to raise awareness about the crippling debt some of Africa's poorest nations owe to the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and Western Governments.

Bono was the first to sign on for the recording. Blake says that, with Bono's help, recruiting other artists came easily. "This is our generation's cause -- they're younger, they're less apathetic and more aware of the situation in Africa," she explains. "These artists have a voice, and it's a voice for change."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

More Song Stories entries »