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Charity supergroup

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A charity supergroup is a music group comprising famous musicians or other celebrities which is formed to raise funds or awareness for charities or causes. The supergroup is usually together only for a single album, performance, or single.

The concept dates back to at least 1971 when George Harrison and Ravi Shankar organized The Concert for Bangladesh, and a subsequent album and film, to support UNICEF relief efforts in that country. In the 1980s forming a one-off supergroup to record a charity single became a popular way of promoting a current cause, following Band Aid's "Do They Know Its Christmas?" and USA for Africa's "We Are the World" which were recorded to support famine relief in Ethiopia in 1984 and 1985 respectively.

List of notable charity supergroups[edit]

Founded Band/project name Project co-ordinator(s) Notes
1971 The Concert for Bangladesh

Concert to raise awareness of the Bangladesh Liberation War and refugee problems in said country, raised funds to benefit UNICEF relief fund, released a film of the concert and an album, The Concert for Bangla Desh

1979 Rockestra

Recorded "Let It Be", "Lucille", "Rockestra Theme", and "So Glad to See You Here" at the Concerts for the People of Kampuchea, to benefit people of Cambodia suffering from Pol Pot's regime; released as a promotional EP and film

1983 ARMS Charity Concert

Concert at Royal Albert Hall to support multiple sclerosis research

1984 Band Aid Recorded "Do They Know It's Christmas?" charity single for famine relief in Ethiopia
1985 Deep End Recorded "Deep End Live!"
1985 Northern Lights Recorded the charity single "Tears Are Not Enough" for famine relief in Ethiopia
1985 USA for Africa Recorded "We Are the World" charity single for famine relief in Ethiopia
1985 Hermanos Recorded "Cantaré, cantarás" charity single for famine relief in Ethiopia
1985 Tomorrow will be Better Recorded "Tomorrow will be Better" to raise money for World Vision to help with aid to Africa.
1985 YU Rock Misija (Yugoslav Rock Mission) Recorded "Za Milion Godina (For Million Years)" contribution of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to the famous Bob Geldof's Band Aid famine relief campaign
1985 Hear 'n Aid Recorded the charity single and album "Stars" for famine relief in Africa
1985 Artists United Against Apartheid Recorded the song and album "Sun City" to protest apartheid in South Africa
1985/1986 Dionne and Friends Recorded the song "That's What Friends Are For" as a charity single for the United Kingdom in 1985 and the United States in 1986 for American Foundation for AIDS Research.
1986 Dance Aid Recorded the song "Give Give Give" as a charity single for the United Kingdom in 1986.
1987 Ferry Aid Recorded the song "Let it Be" as a charity single following the Zeebrugge disaster
1989 Rock Aid Armenia
  • Jon Dee
Re-recording of "Smoke on the Water" by Ritchie Blackmore, Bruce Dickinson, Geoff Downes, Keith Emerson, Ian Gillan, David Gilmour, Tony Iommi, Alex Lifeson, Brian May, Paul Rodgers, Chris Squire, Roger Taylor and others
1989 Band Aid II Re-recording of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" charity single, also for famine relief in Ethiopia
1989 Singers for Sight Song "Forgotten Eyes" was recorded with older celebrities including Bob Hope, Sammy Davis, Jr, Dionne Warwick, Mel Torme, Jack Jones, Marilyn McCoo, Patti LaBelle, George Burns, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. It was released on Motown.
1991 Voices That Care Recording of "Voices That Care" charity single, also for U.S. troops involved in Operation Desert Storm, as well as supporting the International Red Cross organization
1992 Rock Bottom Remainders Group of well-known writers, several charity concerts
1994 Music Relief '94 Recorded a cover version of Marvin Gaye's single "What's Going On" in memory of the Rwandan genocide.
1997 Perfect Day Recording of "Perfect Day" originally used as an advertisement for BBC Music. Due to popularity it was released as a charity single raising over £2 million for Children in Need
2001 Artists Against Aids Worldwide Recorded several cover versions of "What's Going On" to benefit AIDS programs in Africa and other impoverished regions, with a portion of the proceeds going to the American Red Cross' September 11 fund
2004 Band Aid 20 Re-recording of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" 20th anniversary charity single, for famine relief in Ethiopia
2005 The North American Hallowe'en Prevention Initiative (NAHPI)   An all star cast of rock artists recorded a satire of the song "Do They Know It's Christmas" named Do They Know It's Hallowe'en?, all proceeds being donated to UNICEF.
2005 One World Project   Recorded the charity single "Grief Never Grows Old" to benefit 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami relief
2005 Tears in Heaven Recording of "Tears in Heaven" to benefit 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami relief
2008 S↑2C Stand Up 2 Cancer telethon Recorded the charity single "Just Stand Up" to benefit the Stand Up To Cancer telethon.
2010 Artists for Haiti Recorded "We Are the World 25 for Haiti", a remake of the original "We Are the World", to benefit the people of Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.
2010 Young Artists for Haiti Canadian singers and musicians who recorded K'naan's song "Wavin' Flag" to benefit the people of Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.
2011 WhoCares Raising funds to support the rebuilding of a music school in Gyumri, Armenia.[1][2]
2011 BackBone Singers and Musicians on The Celebrity Apprentice 4, all proceeds from their songs go to their respective charities that they chose on the show.[3]
2012 The Justice Collective Recorded "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother", in aid of charities associated with the Hillsborough disaster of 1989.[4]
2014 The Impossible Orchestra Organised for Children in Need 2014 to record "God Only Knows"[5]
2014 Band Aid 30 Re-recording of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" 30th anniversary charity single, for Ebola Crisis Appeal.
2014 Africa Stop Ebola West African artists recorded the song "Africa Stop Ebola" to raise awareness about Ebola in West Africa and released in France to support Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). The song inspired the "Africa Stop Ebola" Song Contest in Conakry, Guinea in July 2015. Africa Stop Ebola was the recipient of the "Fighting Ebola: a Grand Challenge for Development" award by the White House Office of Science and Technology, the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Defense and the United States Agency for International Development USAID.
2014 Imagine Recording of "Imagine" to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
2017 Artists for Puerto Rico American songwriter of Puerto Rican descent, Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote and recorded the song Almost Like Praying featuring numerous other artists under the collective name Artists for Puerto Rico to support relief efforts in Puerto Rico in response to Hurricane Maria, which struck the island in September 2017.[6]
2019 American rapper and comedian Lil Dicky invites 30 artists and they all recorded "Earth" for Earth Day.
2020 Live Lounge Allstars Recorded a cover version of Foo Fighters' "Times Like These" to raise funds for Children in Need, Comic Relief and the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund during the COVID-19 pandemic.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ian Gillan – Caramba!
  2. ^ "New Supergroup? WhoCares".
  3. ^ "Meat Loaf & Fellow "Celebrity Apprentice" Contestants John Rich, Lil Jon & Mark McGrath Join Forces as Backbone on New Charity Single "Stand in the Storm" - Available Now". Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved May 27, 2011.
  4. ^ Michaels, Sean (November 23, 2012). "Paul McCartney guests on Hillsborough charity single with Robbie Williams". The Guardian. London. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
  5. ^ Moss, Liv (October 7, 2014). "Sir Elton John, One Direction, Kylie for 2014 Children In Need single". Official Charts Company.
  6. ^ Mahtani, Melissa (September 28, 2017). "'Hamilton' creator: New song a 'love letter to Puerto Rico'". CNN. Retrieved October 6, 2017.