Charity Song Spotlight

Foreigner, the masters of the power ballad, have re-recorded their 1984 hit "I Want to Know What Love Is" complete with a children's choir to benefit Shriners Hospitals For Children. The new version of the song features the Shriners Hospitals Kids Choir singing backing vocals and is a bonus track on the band's new charity album, The Greatest Hits Of Foreigner Live In Concert. An accompanying video for the song shows lead singer Kelly Jansen visiting a Shriners hospital where he plays basketball with patients and tours the hospital to witness amputees being fitted with new prosthetics. Buy it here. — Aaron Brophy

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Solo artist and former Shaye co-vocalist Tara MacLean has teamed up with theatre artistic director Adam Brazier for their acoustic pop version of Gordon Lightfoot’s1967 classic “Song For A Winter’s Night.” Produced by Bill Bell, Tom Cochrane and Jason Mraz' guitarist, and featuring cello by Kevin Fox (Chantal Kreviazuk), the pair is directing all the proceeds to the Upper Room food bank in Charlottetown, PEI, where MacLean was born and Brazier is based. “This lovely duet will warm your heart,” she wrote on her Facebook post. “Singing with Adam is truly a musical highlight for me.”  Buy it here. — Karen Bliss


Hamilton, Ontario rapper-activist Lee Reed has seen the impact of urban renewal/gentrification in his city as people move there from Toronto and he doesn't like the effect it's had on working class citizens. Inspired by the East Hamilton Rent Strike that has seen tenants push back against developers trying to force out long-time residents, Reed has released The Steal City EP about this battle. In "The Cost Of Tacos" Reed asks "who can afford this stuff?" in reference to boutique tacos, using them as an example to show how high the cost of living has gotten in Hamilton. Proceeds from the "$5 or more" EP will go towards the Hamilton Tenants Solidarity Network (HTSN) and the East Hamilton Rent Strike Defense Fund. Buy it here. — Aaron Brophy


Dan Reynolds, the Mormon-raised lead singer for Imagine Dragons, has been confronting the more hateful, less welcoming aspects of his religious past in the new documentary Believer. One of the topics is the Mormon Church's mean-spirited stance on LGBTQ issues. Reynolds is using new song "Skipping Stones," written with Hans Zimmer (The Lion King, Gladiator, The Dark Knight) to push faith-oriented persons to move past lip service and vague platitudes of "love" and to "give true validity and fully embrace and support diverse sexual orientations." Proceeds from the new single will support the LOVELOUD Foundation. Buy it here. — Aaron Brophy


When the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team's tragic bus crash in rural Saskatchewan left 16 players and support staff dead on April 6 it struck close to home for Canadian musician Tom Cochrane. In 1988 Cochrane scored a massive rock hit with "Big League," a song written from the perspective of a grieving parent of a promising hockey player who lost their son in a highway car crash. Now Cochrane has re-recorded the song as "Big League (For Humboldt)" as a tribute to those who lost their lives. Universal Music says proceeds from the song will go to the Humboldt Strong Community Foundation, which has been set up to support the victims of the crash. Buy it here. — Aaron Brophy

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When Luke Daniel took his own life after a battle with chronic pain last year, his friend Graham Coxon from Blur recorded Daniel's song "Falling" to raise funds for suicide prevention. Proceeds from "Falling" will go towards an organization called CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). CALM's goal is to prevent male suicide, which the organization says is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the U.K. Buy it here. — Aaron Brophy

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Melancholic Chicago-based indie popsters Wild Belle haven't sat idly while natural disasters have impacted much of the United States in recent months. The band have just released new single "Hurricane" to support relief efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which were devastated by the effects of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria in September. Proceeds from the single will go to United For Puerto Rico and All Hands - US Virgin Islands Hurricane Response. Buy it here. — Aaron Brophy

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In the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in London, English, which occurred this past June killing more than 80 people, Simon Cowell gathered together 50-plus artists to record a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Featuring a 300-strong choir of locals, led by Gareth Malone, and guest vocalists Queen’s Brian May, Robbie Williams, One Direction’s Liam Payne, The Who’s Roger Daltrey, James Blunt, Rita Ora, Jessie J, and others, all money raised from the sale of the song will be donated to The London Community Foundation for those affected by the fire. Buy it here. — Daniel Teichman

One of the most moving moments to come out of the star-studded One Love Manchester concert on June 4 was Ariana Grande’s rendition of The Wizard of Oz anthem “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.”  The song’s hopeful message about trying to find a safe place fit perfectly for an event that was a direct response to the terror attack which took place at a Grande concert in Manchester, UK on May 22, leaving 22 dead and 116 injured. Proceeds from the live single will go towards the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund (administered by the British Red Cross) to support victims of the terror attack. —Aaron Brophy
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Montreal electro-indie rockers Young Galaxy hand out a lyrical warning on their newest single "Stay For Real." Backed by a firm mid-period Depeche Mode beat, singer Catherine McCandless repeats "Everything's changing/But we've got to stay for real." Nobody will question the band's "realness" considering they've teamed up with the Arcade Fire-connected Plus One organization to donate proceeds from the song to defending marginalized peoples through rights organizations Pivot Legal Society (Canada), American Civil Liberties Union (USA), and Women Against Violence Europe (EU). Buy it here. —Aaron Brophy


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