“The reality is my people are dying.” These words come from Wyclef Jean, less than one week after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake devastated Haiti’s capital, Port Au Prince. Wyclef addressed the public in a press conference on Monday, January 19th and called on the international community to support a mass exodus of the Haitian people to welcoming nations.
The address marked the first formal account by the Haitian artist, who briefly spoke with with Fox News at the Port Au Prince airport last week. When asked how he and his wife spent their day, Wyclef emphatically responded, “We spent the day picking up dead bodies, all day that’s what we did.”
Although Wyclef (who is also calling for donations to support Haitian relief through his Yele foundation) is one of few artists who is actually working in the trenches, other entertainers are attempting to inspire action and express their support for the Haitian people.
Lady Gaga appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show on Friday and announced that she will be donating all proceeds from her Monsters Ball concert in New York City on January 24th to Haiti. Oprah also used her show as a means to plead with viewers to donate to the Red Cross saying, “This is a time where we, as a global nation, should come together and support those who are in need.”
Colombian singer Shakira posted a message on her website asking people to donate to the Yele foundation.
Trinidadian Soca singer Machel Montano says he will be teaming up with Allison Hinds (Barbados) and reggae artist Shaggy (Jamaica) to record a song about the devastated nation.
Along the same lines, Jay-Z will team up with Bono and Lupe Fiasco will join rock band Linkin Park to produce songs for Haiti.
Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera are just a few of the stars who will appear in the Hope for Haiti benefit, a telethon organized by actor George Clooney and co-hosted by Wyclef Jean. The fundraising telethon will be broadcast on Friday, January 22nd.
R&B singer Omarion took to his twitter page to urge people to donate money to Haiti rather than buy his new album, “Ollusion,” which was released the day of the earthquake. “I’d rather u all take the time and send the money to Haiti instead. Get my album another time,” the singer tweeted.
Haitian rapper Pras (who, along with Wyclef and Lauryn Hill, is one third of the now-defunct, classic hip-hop group The Fugees) has tweeted on his account that The Fugees will reunite and perform in honor of Haiti. Neither Wyclef nor Lauryn have confirmed or denied a possible reunion.
In France, as you may know, TRACE’s call for mobilization has been widely heard by the French/Caribbean artistic community. A song and a video, “Un Geste Pour Haiti Cherie” will be released within the next few days…
Written by Shaira Brereton