September 07, 2005
HOLLYWOOD CARESDIDDY AND JAY-Z KEEP THE VICTIMS SO FRESH AND SO CLEAN
Jay-Z and Sean "Diddy" Combs are not only giving the Red Cross a $1 million joint donation, but both have pledged large donations of clothes from their respective Roc-A-Wear and Sean John lines.
"I can hear the cries of the people in the regions affected by Hurricane Katrina and will do whatever I can to help," Combs said in a statement to PAGE SIX yesterday.
"These are my people. I urge all our fellow artists and Americans to answer the call. These are communities that I know, people that I grew up with, communities that have always supported me. Now it's my turn to support them."
DID JIGGA HEAR MY RANT OR WHAT?
I'm backing Kanye 100%," Jay-Z tells Billboard in defense of rapper Kanye West, who ignored cue cards and spoke from his heart last Friday during a live telethon to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina. Among other criticisms, West said, “George Bush doesn't care about black people" and that America is set up "to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off as slow as possible."
"This is America. You should be able to say what you want to say. We have freedom of speech," Jay-Z told the magazine via phone from London, adding that he shares West’s views about the administration’s slow response to the disaster.
"It's really numbing," he says. "You can't believe it's happening in America. You wonder, what's going on? Why were people so slow to react? I don't understand it."
Jay-Z said that he would like to speak with Diddy about starting a fund that would benefit African Americans during times of crisis.
"Just in case anything like this happens in the future, we can do what the elder Bush and [former President Bill] Clinton are doing for our people specifically," he said.
THE GAY COMMUNITY SERVES THE VICTIMS SOME STYLE
Meanwhile, gay club revelers are literally stripping the shirts off their backs for their New Orleans compatriots who suffered in the flood devastation.
Downtown party promoter Daniel Nardicio is bringing his homo-friendly "underwear party" to Crobar on Oct. 9 for a Columbus Day bash benefiting the beleaguered Crescent City. Nardicio, who last year bought a home in New Orleans, is teaming up with Crobar's Nicky Balestrieri to throw the Mardi Gras-themed hoedown, which features a porn star fashion show and "surprise guest appearances."
Partygoers can donate their clothes after stripping down to their skivvies or bring extra clothes to throw into the benefit's bin. Nardicio and friends will drive to New Orleans the day after the bawdy bash and distribute the clothes to gay bars throughout the Big Easy.
At the end of the day, those 'girls' still want their designer clothes," Nardicio says.
The bona-fide designer outfits collected at the Crobar party may be a welcome respite to certain fashionable flood refugees, who have been forced to suffer the indignity of wearing "knockoff" designer duds donated by the Department of Homeland Security. The agency has sent $138 million worth of counterfeit clothes confiscated by the feds — pretending to be by designers like Yves St. Laurent and Tommy Hilfiger — to needy evacuees.
MICHAEL JACKSON TO RECORD SONG FOR THE VICTIMS...NOT HIS,KATRINA'S
JACKO to the rescue! Michael Jackson, who has been in seclusion in Bahrain since his acquittal on child molestation charges, says he'll record a song to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina. Jackson will record the single, "From the Bottom of My Heart," within two weeks, and he plans to enlist other entertainers for the project, his spokeswoman, Raymone Bain, said. "It pains me to watch the human suffering taking place in the Gulf region of my country," Jackson said in a written statement. "My heart and prayers go out to every individual who has had to endure the pain and suffering caused by this tragedy."
JAMIE HOLDS COLIN FARRELL FOR AUCTION
On Sunday night, Jamie Foxx did what he does best and hosted a celeb-packed party-themed benefit for the victims of Hurricane Katrina at The Delano hotel in Miami.
More than $600,000 was raised for the American Red Cross at the event, which included such guests as Miami Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor and wife Katina, singer Jon Secada, Timbaland, Detroit Pistons guard Rick Hamilton, Miami police chief John Timoney, Paris Hilton, Scott Storch, Christina Milian, Shaquille O’Neal and his “Miami Vice” co-star, Colin Farrell – who auctioned himself off as a date for the cause.
Hilton also put herself up on the block and accepted bids for a night with her at the grand opening of her Club Paris Miami Beach, on New Year's Eve. Farrell himself bought a Ray Charles portrait signed by Foxx for $16,000. An actor wannabe in the crowd bid $25,000 for a speaking role in “Miami Vice,” then suggested he’d pay $40,000 if allowed to say a word that'll catch the attention of the Motion Picture Academy of America. Foxx obliged.
The seriousness of the event that sparked the auction benefit was not forgotten.
''The hurricane is a heart attack,'' Foxx said when introducing the president of New Orleans' Dillard University, Dr. Marvalene Hughes. He gave her a long embrace and then bid $20,000 for dinner at Nobu with Milian.
*Meanwhile, Foxx's new song "Extravaganza," produced by Mike City and featuring Kanye West, features a video that finds him trying to deal with a night of heavy partying.
"The night of the Oscars or the night of Kanye's Grammys, what I did was partied with the Vanity Fairs and the Meg Ryans and what have you," he tells MTV. "The minute we got a chance to take them tuxes off, we jumped in our sweats and got to the real party where cats was taking my Oscar and taking pictures with it. It was fun. [The video] mirrors that.
“Sidney Poitier is guesting in there," he added of the clip. "Sidney canceled everything. He was like, 'I'm not doing nothing for anybody. I'm in retirement.' I called him humbly like, 'Will you be in this video?' He said, 'I'll do anything for you.' We're trying to do everything — not groundbreaking, but just nifty enough to where you go, 'Oh.' But we're not trying to do this big thing."
JOHN TRAVOLTA KEEPS THE VICTIMS "STAYING ALIVE"
Actor John Travolta and his wife, Kelly Preston, have delivered five tons of food for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Travolta, an experienced pilot, flew the supplies in his own private jet to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The couple also brought along 400 doses of tetanus vaccines for rescuers, and said he was coordinating with Oprah Winfrey to get even more relief for more than one million people affected by Hurricane Katrina. The two then toured the flooded city of New Orleans and visited rescue workers and shelters for evacuees.
MONTEL WILL BEGIN HIS SEASON FROM THE GULF COAST
*”The Montel Williams Show” will begin its 15th season Monday with a show filmed on location in the Gulf Coast. In Louisiana, Montel will be accompanied by Senator Sharon Weston Broome of Baton Rouge, who will accompany him throughout the state and escort him to shelters. In Biloxi, he will be joined by Mayor A.J. Holloway for a visit to The Biloxi Regional Medical Center. In Houston, Montel will help reunite families affected by Hurricane Katrina. "A tragedy of this proportion is so overwhelming, it is often best expressed through individual stories," said Williams. "We wanted to provide a place, apart from the newscasts, for these stories to be told."
MACY GRAY COMES OUT OF CRAZYVILLE TO SHOW SOME LOVE
The Associated Press spoke with Macy Gray, who came to Houston specifically to help refugees from the flooding in New Orleans. "I just really wanted to help out," Gray said after spending Saturday handing out clothes and toiletries in the Astrodome. "I think the most important thing to them is their futures. They are here, and they have gotten out of that disaster, but it is like, now what? Because they can't live like that forever."
NAOMI CAMPBELL AND OTHERS SHOW MUCH LOVE AND SUPPORT ALSO
Naomi Campbell isn't exactly known for her soft side, but just talking about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is enough to move the famously tempestuous supermodel to tears.
"It's awful to see what happened and watch grown men crying on TV because they have nothing left," says Campbell, her voice breaking while on the phone from Los Angeles.
"When I'm looking at this [devastation], it's like I'm looking at Africa or anywhere else in the world but here. It made me think about what I could do to help."
She's not alone. For the next few weeks, New York will become a veritable hurricane relief center, with a slew of musicians, actors, comics, radio deejays and even bartenders donating their time, money and efforts to benefit victims of Katrina.
For Campbell, it'll be doing what she does best — strutting her stuff on a runway.
The British-born model, who beginning Friday will appear at several designer shows during Fashion Week, is donating "every single penny" of her modeling fees to the American Red Cross.
That could turn out to be a tidy sum, considering Campbell charges up to $50,000 a show and is planning on sashaying her way down at least a half dozen catwalks.
"There was no way I could walk the runways this week and just keep my [modeling] rate," says Campbell, whose first modeling job was in New Orleans when she was 15 years old.
"It would be fantastic if everyone joined forces to give what they can."
Here's a selection of upcoming fund-raising events for Hurricane Katrina victims that New Yorkers can attend:
Bill Cosby hosts Jazz at Lincoln Center's Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert. The Sept. 17 show features Wynton Marsalis, Peter Cincotti, Elvis Costello, Paquito D'Rivera, Abbey Lincoln, Diana Krall, Jon Hendricks and others at Rose Theater in Frederick P. Rose Hall. The concert will be recorded live, and proceeds from the CD also will go to relief funds. For more information, visit www.jalc.org.
More than a dozen jazz and blues clubs around town are taking part in "When the Saints Go Marching In," a relief effort runnning Sept. 11-18. The venues, which include Terra Blues, Birdland, Smoke and Cornelia Street Cafe in Manhattan and the Brooklyn Jazz Consortium in Brooklyn, will donate portions of their sales to the American Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund (go to AllAboutJazz.com for updates).
Hoisting a bunch of drinks on the evening of Sept. 12 may be bad for your liver, but good for your soul. At "Save New Orleans Cocktail Hour," held from 5 to 7 p.m., ordering such classic, Big Easy-style drinks as the Sazerac and French 75 ($10 each) at participating bars and restaurants means helping out New Orleans' unemployed food- and beverage-industry workers(www.museumoftheamerican cocktail.org).
Other special bar events include "Miss Tanya's Hurricane Relief" event at the Stitch Bar on Sept. 8; the Bourbon Street Cafe's benefit in Bayside, Queens, on Sept. 9, and the Sept. 14 New Orleans Relief Effort Benefit at Jacques-Imo's NYC, the New York offshoot of the well-known New Orleans eatery.
A pair of Off-Broadway plays are getting into the hurricane relief act. "The Great American Trailer Park Musical," at Dodger Stages, is donating $15 from each ticket to the Red Cross for performances through this month.
The cast and crew of Terrance McNally's "Dedication or The Stuff of Dreams," at Primary Stages, are accepting donations to the Red Cross.
Downtown artists unite at Acme Bar & Grill on Sept. 18 for "NY LOVES NOLA," a marathon night — seven hours' worth — of multidiscipline performances from the likes of actors Charles Busch, John Cameron Mitchell and Penny Arcade, plus the casts of Off-Off-Broadway's "Rooms" and "Fleet Week."
Comedy clubs and local acts are donating the proceeds from their regular weekly or monthly shows to Katrina victims, including "Crash Test," at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, on Sept. 12; "The Rejection Show" at Public School 122 on Sept. 13; "Northern Hospitality," on Sept. 14 at the Kraine Theatre, starring Colin Quinn of "Saturday Night Live," and the comedy troupe ASSSSCAT, Sept. 18 at Upright Citizens Brigade.
Several benefits and telethons will be broadcast on TV in coming weeks, but local radio stations are contributing to relief efforts, too. WRKS (98.7 FM) will donate a dollar to disaster relief funds from each ticket sold for its annual "A Night of Healing" gospel concert on Sept. 13 at Madison Square Garden.