Sale Of 'American Idol' Finalist CDs Raises $185,000

American Red Cross
Wednesday, 8 October 2003

Funds to benefit Red Cross lifesaving programs and services in this country and around the world

Top-selling CD-singles featuring "American Idol" finalists' version of Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the U.S.A." and Burt Bacharach's "What the World Needs Now Is Love" have so far generated a total of $185,000 for the American Red Cross. The donation was presented to the Red Cross by RCA Music Group President and COO, Charles Goldstuck, on behalf of the RCA Music Group and 19 Entertainment, at an event today honoring corporations that have helped make our communities safer through their support of Red Cross lifesaving programs and services.

The finalists' version of "God Bless the U.S.A.," which was performed live on the show, hit stores nationwide on April 15, with 50 cents from the sale of each CD-single, ultimately $155,000, directly benefiting Red Cross programs and services. The single entered Billboard's "Hot 100 Singles Sales Chart" at No. 1, selling just over 100,000 copies in its first week alone. Additionally, the finalists' version of Burt Bacharach's 1967 classic, "What the World Needs Now Is Love," went on sale in stores nationwide on April 29 with 50 cents from the sale of each CD-single directly benefiting the American Red Cross International Response Fund – a total of $30,000 so far. The International Response Fund enables the American Red Cross to provide and support relief and development services for the victims of international crises.

"We, at the American Red Cross, are touched by the generosity of the RCA Music Group," said Marsha J. Evans, President and CEO of the Red Cross. "Red Cross programs and services are a vital part of communities, and we are grateful for the opportunity to use this gift to help individuals across the country. Our thanks goes out to everyone at RCA Music Group and 'American Idol'."

"The reaction to "God Bless the USA" and "What the World Needs Now is Love" was so overwhelming when performed on the American Idol show, we at RCA Music Group knew this was opportunity to help our country in a time of need. We chose the American Red Cross for their enormous efforts and everything they stand for. I would also like to thank the American Idol creator Simon Fuller for being our partner in this worthy cause," says Charles Goldstuck.

This donation comes at a time of serious need for the Red Cross. The Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to respond immediately to disasters nationwide providing shelter, food, water and comfort to victims, is at a critical low. The organization has spent more to provide relief in the past year than it has raised in donations.

About the American Red Cross

Governed by volunteers and supported by community donations, the American Red Cross is a nationwide network for and respond to emergencies. Led by 1.2 million volunteers and 30,000 employees, the Red Cross annually mobilizes relief to families affected by more than 67,000 disasters, trains almost 12 million people in lifesaving skills and exchanges more than a million emergency messages for U.S. military service personnel and their families. The Red Cross is the largest supplier of blood and blood products to more than 3,000 hospitals across the nation and also assists victims of international disasters and conflicts at locations worldwide.

About the RCA Music Group

The RCA Music Group is one of the premier music companies in the world. The group is made up of two major labels, RCA Records and J Records. The labels are home to star artists including Dave Matthews Band, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Foo Fighters, Alicia Keys, Luther Vandross, Annie Lennox, Rod Stewart, Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken among others. RCA Music Group is part of BMG, the global music division of Bertelsmann AG, one of the worldıs leading media companies, with annual revenues of $17.86 billion. BMG owns more than 200 record labels in 42 countries including Arista Records, RCA Records, RCA Label Group Nashville, and Ariola. In addition, BMG owns one of the worldıs largest music publishing companies.

About the 19 Group of Companies

The 19 Group of Companies was founded by Simon Fuller in 1985 and since then has achieved over 35 No. 1 singles and 13 No. 1 albums. Fuller also has an impressive tally of over 60 Top 40 albums and 170 Top 40 singles in the UK alone. Fuller created and managed the Spice Girls, who became a global phenomenon under his guidance, selling over 38 million albums. In 1998, Fuller's 19 launched S Club 7, which has sold 10 million CDs worldwide, while its three television series to date have consistently topped children's viewing figures, reaching 104 countries. In 2001, Simon Fuller's 19TV created and produced the television phenomenons "Pop Idol" and "American Idol." "Pop Idol" launched the singing careers of Will Young and Gareth Gates, both of whom are managed by Fuller and signed to his 19 Recordings record label, while "American Idol" did the same for Kelly Clarkson, Justin Guarini, Tamyra Gray and Christina Christian, all of whom are managed by 19 Management.

For more information, or to contact American Red Cross, see their website at:

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