PARIS – From Paris to Beijing, Hong Kong to London and beyond, musicians are beating the drum — literally in their case — for victims of the Asian tsunami (search ) with special concerts and songs. Hip-hop rhymers, classical orchestras, church choirs, punk bands, creamy-voiced crooners and others are taking up the fund-raising theme.
This is"We are the World" (search ) — and then some.
Ever since that 1980s hit for African famine relief and its Band Aid predecessor,"Do They Know It's Christmas?" (search ) united support from musicians has been part of charity fund-raising.
But the response to the tsunami has been huge.
In Norway alone, dozens of benefit concerts are planned. In its oil capital, Stavanger, groups scheduled a free show Thursday, with cash to be raised through the sale of a single entitled "The Time is Now."
"It's about solidarity with people," popular Norwegian bluesman Reidar Larsen told reporters. "If you have the chance to help people in need, most will turn out, whether auto mechanics or artists."
Hong Kong heartthrob Nicholas Tse sang the popular tune "Chinese People" to a nearly full house of about 6,000 people who waved glow sticks, clapped and sang along at a charity concert on Thursday at the Workers' Gymnasium in Beijing.
In Britain, longtime DJ Mike Read said he lined up Band Aid veteran Boy George and pop musician Cliff Richard to record a benefit version of Read's "Grief Never Grows Old."
Avril Lavigne, Sum 41 and Sarah McLachlan are among Canadian artists lined up for a brace of charity concerts in Calgary and Vancouver at the end of the month.
Proceeds from an annual benefit concert hosted by German President Horst Koehler at the Berlin Philharmonic will go for victims of the tsunami, his office said Thursday.
In Paris, tickets went on sale for an additional day of concerts at a popular music festival this month, featuring a who's-who of French music celebrities, with funds destined for the Red Cross.
Over the weekend, hot Danish names like rising pop star Tue West and trendy rappers Jokeren and Nik & Jay were to hit airwaves for a daylong telethon in Denmark.
Organizers of Denmark's Roskilde Festival, one of Europe's largest music festivals, donated 1 million kroner $183,000.
Hong Kong pop legend Andy Lau and other stars took part in fund-raiser last weekend that took in more than $6.2 million.
German punk rockers Die Toten Hosen donated proceeds from a concert in Berlin to Doctors without Borders, raising $199,000 from concertgoers and listeners who contributed donations through on a radio station that aired the show live.
Others gave without performing. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra said it will donate 136,000 to the World Health Organization to help provide drinking water to tsunami survivors.
Musical glitterati are not the only ones helping out. Swedish sports stars will turn their annual awards banquet Saturday into a televised fund-raiser.
And some stars are doing more than raising cash. Belgian pop singer Axel Red, a UNICEF ambassador, traveled with Belgium's air force last week to towns in Sri Lanka and has helped identify victims.