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Charity Song Spotlight

Hamilton, Ontario rapper-activist Lee Reed has seen the impact of urban renewal/gentrification in his city as people move there from Toronto and he doesn't like the effect it's had on working class citizens. Inspired by the East Hamilton Rent Strike that has seen tenants push back against developers trying to force out long-time residents, Reed has released The Steal City EP about this battle. In "The Cost Of Tacos" Reed asks "who can afford this stuff?" in reference to boutique tacos, using them as an example to show how high the cost of living has gotten in Hamilton. Proceeds from the "$5 or more" EP will go towards the Hamilton Tenants Solidarity Network (HTSN) and the East Hamilton Rent Strike Defense Fund. Buy it here. — Aaron Brophy


Dan Reynolds, the Mormon-raised lead singer for Imagine Dragons, has been confronting the more hateful, less welcoming aspects of his religious past in the new documentary Believer. One of the topics is the Mormon Church's mean-spirited stance on LGBTQ issues. Reynolds is using new song "Skipping Stones," written with Hans Zimmer (The Lion King, Gladiator, The Dark Knight) to push faith-oriented persons to move past lip service and vague platitudes of "love" and to "give true validity and fully embrace and support diverse sexual orientations." Proceeds from the new single will support the LOVELOUD Foundation. Buy it here. — Aaron Brophy


When the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team's tragic bus crash in rural Saskatchewan left 16 players and support staff dead on April 6 it struck close to home for Canadian musician Tom Cochrane. In 1988 Cochrane scored a massive rock hit with "Big League," a song written from the perspective of a grieving parent of a promising hockey player who lost their son in a highway car crash. Now Cochrane has re-recorded the song as "Big League (For Humboldt)" as a tribute to those who lost their lives. Universal Music says proceeds from the song will go to the Humboldt Strong Community Foundation, which has been set up to support the victims of the crash. Buy it here. — Aaron Brophy

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When Luke Daniel took his own life after a battle with chronic pain last year, his friend Graham Coxon from Blur recorded Daniel's song "Falling" to raise funds for suicide prevention. Proceeds from "Falling" will go towards an organization called CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). CALM's goal is to prevent male suicide, which the organization says is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the U.K. Buy it here. — Aaron Brophy

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Melancholic Chicago-based indie popsters Wild Belle haven't sat idly while natural disasters have impacted much of the United States in recent months. The band have just released new single "Hurricane" to support relief efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which were devastated by the effects of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria in September. Proceeds from the single will go to United For Puerto Rico and All Hands - US Virgin Islands Hurricane Response. Buy it here. — Aaron Brophy

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In the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in London, English, which occurred this past June killing more than 80 people, Simon Cowell gathered together 50-plus artists to record a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Featuring a 300-strong choir of locals, led by Gareth Malone, and guest vocalists Queen’s Brian May, Robbie Williams, One Direction’s Liam Payne, The Who’s Roger Daltrey, James Blunt, Rita Ora, Jessie J, and others, all money raised from the sale of the song will be donated to The London Community Foundation for those affected by the fire. Buy it here. — Daniel Teichman

One of the most moving moments to come out of the star-studded One Love Manchester concert on June 4 was Ariana Grande’s rendition of The Wizard of Oz anthem “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.”  The song’s hopeful message about trying to find a safe place fit perfectly for an event that was a direct response to the terror attack which took place at a Grande concert in Manchester, UK on May 22, leaving 22 dead and 116 injured. Proceeds from the live single will go towards the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund (administered by the British Red Cross) to support victims of the terror attack. —Aaron Brophy
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Montreal electro-indie rockers Young Galaxy hand out a lyrical warning on their newest single "Stay For Real." Backed by a firm mid-period Depeche Mode beat, singer Catherine McCandless repeats "Everything's changing/But we've got to stay for real." Nobody will question the band's "realness" considering they've teamed up with the Arcade Fire-connected Plus One organization to donate proceeds from the song to defending marginalized peoples through rights organizations Pivot Legal Society (Canada), American Civil Liberties Union (USA), and Women Against Violence Europe (EU). Buy it here. —Aaron Brophy


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Arcade Fire's newest song "I Give You Power" is a not-so-subtle message to new U.S. President Donald Trump. The Canadian-based indie rock band, which has two American members, Win and Will Butler, teamed with legendary soul singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples for the thumping industrial groover which was released the evening before Trump's inauguration. The song features the alternating lines "I give you power/I can take it away" and all proceeds from it will be donated to the American Civil Liberties Union, which protects First Amendment rights. Buy it here. —Aaron Brophy

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The 11-year-old son of soccer star David Beckham and former Spice Girls singer, Victoria, has released a charity song, “If Every Day Was Christmas.”  “If everyday was Christmas and I can't be with you, underneath the mistletoe, kiss you when nobody knows," Cruz Beckham sings. Proceeds from the pop track go to Global's Make Some Noise, the in-house charity for eight major UK radio stations, which supports charities that help young people living with illness, disability or lack of opportunity. Cruz is managed by Scooter Braun, who guided Justin Beiber’s career to stadium status. Buy it here. - Karen Bliss

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