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Jackson Song to Aid 9/11 Victims

Funds from "What More Can I Give" to help terrorist victims' families

September 17, 2001 12:00 AM ET

Michael Jackson is coordinating another star-studded fundraising effort around a new song to raise money for the survivors and families of victims of last week's terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.

Sixteen years after helping to organize the USA for Africa effort with the song "We Are the World," Jackson has recruited Destiny's Child, 'N Sync's Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter and Mya to record "What More Can I Give," which he hopes will raise more than $50 million.

"I'm not one to sit back and point the finger and say, 'Oh, I feel bad for what happened to them,'" Jackson told Rolling Stone. "I want to do something, to give to help those who lost their parents, who lost their mothers and their fathers. Those are our people. Those are our children. Those are our parents."

Jackson says that he hopes to have individual artists take on the verses with all the guests singing together on the chorus. "I want the whole world to sing it, to bring us together as a world," he says. "Because a song is a mantra, something you repeat over and over. And we need peace, we need giving, we need love, we need unity."

Jackson debuted the song two years ago as part of a pair of "Michael Jackson and Friends" concerts that benefited the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, the Red Cross and Unesco. Jackson hopes to enlist additional stars to perform the song and plans to record and release it as soon as possible.

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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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