Lady Gaga launches fundraiser for Japan crisis

Singer joins Linkin Park and Blink-182 in auctioning memorabilia to raise money for victims of Japan's earthquake and tsunami

Lady Gaga, Linkin Park and Blink-182 have launched fundraisers to aid victims of Japan's earthquake and tsunami. With designer wristbands, original T-shirts and memorabilia auctions, the three acts hope to raise money for the Red Cross, Music for Relief and other groups.

Since Friday, artists including Justin Bieber and Coldplay have been advocating for earthquake relief, mostly on Twitter. "So tragic," wrote Britney Spears. "#prayforjapan" suggested Katy Perry. There are routine calls for fans to text certain numbers – such as 90999 in the US – to donate money to the Red Cross. But without an international telethon on deck, this is generally the extent of musicians' philanthropy.

Enter Lady Gaga, Linkin Park and Blink-182, all of whom have announced special Japan fundraisers. Gaga had the largest audience, unveiling a "Japan prayer bracelet" to her almost 9m Twitter followers. This red and white wristband, with characters in English and Japanese, was reportedly designed by Gaga and bears her Little Monsters logo. In just 48 hours, she claims to have raised $250,000 (£155,000) for Japan relief, although it isn't clear which charity will receive the money.

Meanwhile, Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda is designing T-shirts to benefit Music for Relief's aid work in Japan. Music for Relief was founded by Linkin Park as a response to the 2005 Indian Ocean tsunami. The band are asking fans to vote on two designs, including an image of an origami butterfly. "We're going into production ASAP," Shinoda wrote.

Finally, American punk-rockers Blink-182 have set up a charity auction of rare band items. "So sad for what's happening in Japan," wrote singer Mark Hoppus. "Gonna dig in the bins & find some old blink-182." The items he uncovered include handwritten lyric sheets, a former backstage pass, and clothing from a music video. All are on sale at eBay, with proceeds going to the Red Cross.

The death toll from Friday's earthquake is expected to exceed 10,000.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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