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DMB, Usher Lead Katrina Benefits

Musicians to perform simultaneously for Hurricane Katrina effort

September 1, 2005 12:00 AM ET

The Dave Matthews Band, Usher, Green Day, Alicia Keys, Ludacris, John Mellencamp, Linkin Park's Chester Bennington, Rob Thomas, David Banner and Gretchen Wilson are among the artists performing for a Hurricane Katrina relief concert which will be staged simultaneously on September 10th, in New York, Los Angeles, Nashville and Atlanta.

The shows will air live on MTV, VH1 and CMT, with opportunities for viewers to make call-in donations. All the proceeds will be directed to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. More performers are expected to be announced in the coming days.

DMB have added a fourth show to their upcoming string of dates -- September 9th through the 12th -- at Colorado's famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Money raised from the fourth show will benefit hurricane relief charities.

In other benefit news, BET and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons will host a telethon on Friday, September 9th, at 7:30 p.m. to raise funds for hurricane victims. Among those joining Simmons are New Orleans native Master P, Wynton Marsalis and David Banner.

As previously reported, Tim McGraw, Harry Connick, Jr., and Marsalis are set to perform on the A Concert for Hurricane Relief telethon, which will air live on NBC, MSNBC and CNBC on Friday, September 2nd, at 8 p.m. Viewers will be encouraged to donate to the Red Cross.

According to New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, thousands are feared dead, and residents who failed to evacuate the flooded, below-sea-level city have no drinkable water, no electricity and are combating widespread looting. President Bush called the storm one of the worst natural disasters in history and said that the recovery effort in the ravaged Gulf Coast could take years.

Donations are currently being accepted at the Red Cross Web site, redcross.org, and hotline, 1-800-HELP-NOW. Habitat For Humanity, Salvation Army and FEMA are also accepting funds at habitat.org, salvationarmyusa.org and fema.gov, respectively.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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