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Jackson Wraps Benefit Single

Santana, Ricky Martin among numerous guests

October 17, 2001 12:00 AM ET

Michael Jackson has finished recording "What More Can I Give," his new star-studded single that he hopes will raise more than $50 million for families of victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Since the tragedy Jackson has been crisscrossing the country to collaborate with Ricky Martin, Santana, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Tom Petty, Destiny's Child's Beyonce Knowles, the Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter, Aaron Carter, Mya, Luis Miguel, Ziggy Marley, Gloria Estefan, Boyz II Men's Shawn Stockman, Skakira and numerous others.

"I have no other agenda other than to just see some of these families smile again," said Jackson, who was in New York City at the time of the attacks. "A song is a mantra, something you repeat over and over. And we need peace, we need giving, we need love, we need unity. I want the whole world to sing this song."

Jackson also helped organize the USA for Africa single, "We Are the World," sixteen years ago. The song has raised more than $65 million to help fight starvation in Africa.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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