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
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
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


The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

More Song Stories entries »