By Marcus Leach
Songs For Japan, the unique, star-studded album collection created to help raise money for victims of Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami disasters, continues to benefit the survivors through Japanese Red Cross Society.
Senior executives from four major music companies — EMI, Sony Music, Universal Music and Warner Music Group — met with Japanese Red Cross Society Vice President, Yoshiharu Otsuka, to recognise the milestone of $10 million raised and donated from the global sales of Songs For Japan. The occasion was a reception hosted by Frances Moore, chief executive of worldwide recording industry organisation IFPI.
A music industry-wide initiative, Songs For Japan is an unprecedented compilation of 38 major hits and classic tracks, including 21 Billboard Hot 100 hits and five #1s from more than 30 of the biggest names in contemporary music. The collection was rush-released worldwide on March 25 — only 14 days after the earthquake struck Japan — as a digital album via iTunes, followed by the release of a physical two-CD set.
“The kind thoughts of the people who made and bought this album have given great encouragement to the people affected by the earthquake and tsunami," Tadateru Konoe, President of Japanese Red Cross Society, said.
"One hundred percent of the money raised goes directly to those most in need. On behalf of the Japanese Red Cross and the people affected by the disaster, I want to sincerely thank the artists and music companies for this generous support. It is much needed and greatly appreciated.”
All the participating artists, songwriters, music labels, music publishers and iTunes waived their royalties and proceeds to maximise the amount of money donated for survivors. In addition, manufacturers, distributors and marketing partners donated materials, services and advertising time or space.
The first payment of $5 million was made to Japanese Red Cross Society earlier this year, after the initial release and sales of Songs For Japan. The latest, further payment of $5 million was made more recently, bringing the total to $10 million.
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