Charity Song of the Month:
When Latin pop star Shakira tweeted Oxford University group Out of the Blue, “Hey @ootboxford, we LOVE your a capella [sic] Shak medley,” and linked to the video, well the retweets and favorites followed as well as views in the millions on YouTube. The all-male a cappella student choir from the esteemed English university — decked out in suits and ties (sometimes shirts unbuttoned) and amusingly imitating her dance moves — recorded the video to “Hips Down Lie” and posted it in late July. Proceeds from the sale of the song go to the Helen & Douglas House Children’s Hospice. Check it out here. — KB.
“It only takes one to start a revolution,” sings Light Fires’ Regina, the drag queen persona of Toronto’s Gentleman Reg (Vermue), on the infectious dance number “Last of His Kind.” The song is a tribute to Vazaleen club night impresario Will Munro who died of brain cancer in 2010. A portion of the proceeds from #entertainment’s Where There’s A Will There’s A Way remix goes to the Will Munro Fund which provides support for queer and trans-gendered people living with cancer. Buy it here. — K.B.
Australian pop singer Kylie Minogue, who beat breast cancer in 2005, has joined forces with The Alliance for Cancer Research out of France for a unique fundraising campaign, One Note Against Cancer. What’s unique exactly is that every note of her song “Crystallize” was bid on and bought by a donor, and each and every one of them is thanked at the end of the music video, which takes three of the six minutes. The beat-based pop song — co-written by Minogue, producer Dev Hynes and Scissor Sisters’ Babydaddy — contains 4408 notes. Buy it here. — K.B.
The late Beatle created the Material World Charitable Foundation in 1973 when he released his fourth studio album, Living In The Material World, which included the top-charting international hit “Give Me Love.” Harrison donated his royalties from the album, in perpetuity, to the Foundation, which has supported dozens of causes from medical to children to humanitarian and environmental. According to the website, “It was George’s wish that his music and legacy should carry on supporting the Material World Foundation and in turn help others.” Buy the song or album here. — K.B.
Pop singer Suzie McNeil — whose recording career was launched on the TV reality show Rock Star: INXS and has four studio albums to her name — has released a charity single benefitting World Vision and the family of the Late Steve Klodt, who co-wrote the ballad with her. He passed away in 2012. Although there is no mention on iTunes that “AlOne” is for charity, McNeil tells Samaritanmag the proceeds will be split between the two causes. McNeil was inspired to write the song after a 2009 trip with World Vision to Zambia. “Everyone is everyone…You are not alone / We are all one,” she sings. Buy it here. — K.B.
After losing another friend to suicide, I Mother Earth singer and solo artist Brian Byrne wrote “Arizona (I Miss You Most),” which begins with the line “Tired of this/Give me hope.” All proceeds go to Collateral Damage, the suicide prevention and awareness group founded by Scott Chisholm, who lost his father. The single is available on Dine Alone Records. There’s also a powerful music video featuring people left behind holding messages to their loved ones. “My hope is that we really can change how we talk about suicide, open up and discuss," says Byrne. "No one should ever feel ashamed or lonely in this.” Buy it here. — K.B.
Quebec star Roch Voisine, who has sold more than 12 million albums, is the man behind the Canadian anthem for The Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. “This is the moment I’ve waited for all my life,” the ballad begins. Voisine will donate the profits to the Canadian Olympic Foundation to help support emerging athletes. "Living Out My Dreams" — which features musicians from the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and world-renowned conductor Maestro Kent Nagano — sells on iTunes for $1.29. “I am so proud the release of this new song will help support our next generation of Canadian athletes,” said Voisine in a statement. “When Dean Landon, Anika Paris and I wrote this song, our goal was to help inspire our athletes.” — K.B.
Toronto’s Choir! Choir! Choir! has performed with the legendary Patti Smith, stood in for Tegan and Sara when they couldn’t make the Polaris Music Prize Gala, and recently opened for Mayor Rob Ford at the 47th annual Cavalcade of Lights festival at Nathan Phillips Square. Now, for their first recording available on iTunes the 70-member choir has covered Wham! Classic “Last Christmas.” All the proceeds from the sale of the song go to MSF/Doctors Without Borders. The group is also trying to start a gift chain, whereby you purchase the song for 99-cents, gift it to three people and ask them to do the same. — K.B.
Written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance to commemorate the 100th anniversary in 2014 of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI), the anthemic “Ric-A-Dam-Doo” includes the lyrics “Hear the battle cry/See the Ric-A-Dam-Doo,” referring to words on the Regiment’s flag believed to mean “cloth of your mother” in Gaelic. “It’s the flag of freedom in the air,” it continues. The song — composed at the request of the Regiment’s Colonel-in-Chief, The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson — is sung by the PPCLI soldiers’ wives, featuring Edmonton’s Brittany Hancock and Angela Larson. The song, released digitally by Universal Music Canada, sells for $1.29 on iTunes and all proceeds will go to PPCLI Foundation, which provides funds, activities, and programs to support and care for Canadian military service and former military personnel in need. — K.B.
Internationally renowned Canadian vocal quartet The Tenors has teamed up with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America spokesperson/Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler on a pop ballad, “I Thank You,” in support of mentorship matching charity Big Brothers Big Sisters. The song — about the impact mentors play in the lives of young people — was conceived by Kenny Munshaw and co-written with the Tenors and Marc Jordan. It was produced in London, England by Sacha Skarbek, who co-wrote Miley Cyrus’ No. 1 "Wrecking Ball." There is also a music video. 50 cents from every download supports the organization's programs. — K.B.
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