Warner Bros. Records Presents $2.5M To Amnesty
Warner Bros. records presents $2.5 million from sales of Instant Karma CD to Amnesty International for Campaign on Darfur
CD of 20+ John Lennon songs recorded by Green Day, U2, R.E.M., Christina Aguilera, Jack Johnson, Flaming Lips and more
Burbank, CA--Warner Bros. Records presented Amnesty International with a check today for $2.5 million, proceeds raised from the sales of Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign To Save Darfur. The double album features more than 20 John Lennon songs recorded by today's best-selling artists and is supporting Amnesty International's campaign to end the violence in Darfur.
The Instant Karma album of Lennon cover songs, released by Warner Bros. Records on June 12, 2007, was made possible thanks to the generosity of Yoko Ono, who granted Amnesty International the right to record the Lennon songs on the album and donated all music-publishing royalties to the project. The album is part of AI's global music activism project "Make Some Noise," which aims to harness the power of Lennon's solo songbook to inspire a new generation of activists to stand up for human rights.
The album sparked several hit singles, including Green Day's rendition of "Working Class Hero," R.E.M.'s recording of "#9 Dream," and Los Lonely Boys' cover of "Whatever Gets You Thru The Night." Green Day and U2 each received Grammy® Award nominations in the "Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals" Category. U2 was nominated for the title song, "Instant Karma."
The Instant Karma album has inspired close to 100,000 activists worldwide to take action to end the violence in Darfur, the world's worst human rights and humanitarian crisis, Amnesty International said. In addition, AI, the world's largest grassroots human rights organization, has generated more than 500,000 signatures on a global petition calling on President Bush to press for an urgent timetable for the deployment of U.N. peacekeepers to Darfur by early 2008.
Tom Whalley, chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Records, said: "On behalf of Warner Bros. Records, I am proud to present the money raised from the sales of Instant Karma to Amnesty International. Their work is crucial to raising awareness of the human rights catastrophes occurring in Darfur and around the world, and we are thrilled to be able to support their campaign. I would also like to personally thank the artists who contributed their time and talents, and the staff of both Amnesty International and Warner Bros. Records for their hard work, all of which enabled us to make this project a success."
Larry Cox, executive director of AIUSA, said: "John Lennon's music and his legacy as an activist continue to inspire human rights advocacy. Now, his music is encouraging tens of thousands of young people to get involved and add their voices to the cause of stopping the horrific violence in Darfur. We are grateful to Yoko Ono and to Warner Bros. Records for supporting our campaign to end widespread human rights violations in Darfur."
Jeff Ayeroff, producer of the album and former vice chair of Warner Bros. Records, said: "To me, John Lennon was the most eloquent artist whose message of pain, love and peace were a comfort in troubling times and a light in the darkness. Through Yoko Ono?s generosity and good deeds, his message endures. All Amnesty International and Warner Bros. Records are saying is: 'give peace a chance.'"
Amnesty International, which was among the first organizations to highlight the Darfur crisis, is devoting the proceeds to activism and lobbying with governments and international bodies on Darfur. Currently, the organization is pressing for speedy deployment of the 26,000-member U.N. peacekeeping force, the funds and equipment to support the mission, and the arrest of Sudanese officials indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.
Since 2003, government-backed militia have killed hundreds of thousands of people, destroyed thousands of villages and left millions of refugees struggling for survival in relief camps in Darfur and neighboring Chad.
For more information about Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur, please visit www.instantkarma.org.