It’s the battle of the charity singles and the winner will be Haitian earthquake relief organizations. The star-studded remake of R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts,” coordinated by Simon Cowell, debuted at No. 1 on the U.K. Singles chart on Monday. It debuted rather convincingly: with sales of 453,000, it is the fastest-selling charity single in the U.K. of the 2000s, according to Billboard.
We’ll see on Wednesday how “Everybody Hurts” is faring in the U.S., as well as what kind of a start “We Are the World 25 for Haiti” achieved in its first three days of sales. “We Are the World,” which also benefits Haitian relief efforts, debuted during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.
Although the remake of the song originally recorded in 1984 to aid African famine relief efforts has been widely panned (read our assessment here), there are surely enough people who want to download it to help the cause to propel it to No. 1 on the Billboard 100 on sales alone. The official video has been watched more than 5.7 million times on YouTube alone since its Friday release and also tops iTunes’ singles and video chart. “World” features Jennifer Hudson, Justin Bieber, Jennifer Nettles, Barbra Streisand, Kanye West, Josh Groban, Fergie, Pink and footage of Michael Jackson from the 1984 recording.