By Dialogo May 04, 2010 Spanish producer Carlos Jean brought together some of the biggest names in music to use their voices to extend a helping hand toward Haitians reeling from the earthquake that devastated the country on Jan. 12. “At first, I felt powerless,” said Jean, who is of Haitian descent. “I felt it was the right moment for all of us to do our small part and help out.” That is precisely how “Ay Haiti,” a solidarity initiative in the form of a musical hymn, was born. “In just six days more than 30,000 people came together through the Internet,” Jean said. “We had to do something.” Since its release on April 20, the theme that features Alejandro Sanz, Enrique Iglesias, Miguel Bosé, Macaco, Juanes, Estopa, Shakira and La Oreja de Van Gogh (Van Gogh’s Ear) has become the top-selling song in Spain, according to Sony Music. Singers Shakira, Juanes and Marta Sánchez, as well as soccer superstar Kun Aguero are featured on the music video for the relief single “Ay Haiti.” The song’s video, featuring such soccer players as Diego Forlán, Kaká and Sergio Agüero, and actress Paz Vega, also is getting plenty of play nationwide, according to Sony Music. The solidarity initiative took off when Jean organized some sessions of dance music, known as “mixing for Haiti,” to raise funds for Intermón Oxfam, a Spanish nonprofit organization providing assistance to the Haitian people. Intermón Oxfam has received around €7million (US$9.3 million) in donations from Spain and more than €75 million (US$99.8 million) worldwide. “It was a spontaneous call to participate: we skipped all the conventional channels as collaborations normally go,” said David Summers, of the musical group Hombres G (G Men), during the presentation of the project “Ay Haiti.” “Nobody even thought of making a single penny off of this.” The artists – all of whom were volunteers – adjusted their schedules so they could produce a chart-topping hit for a great cause, Summers said. The group performed the song live in front of a crowd of 14,000 during “La Noche de Cadena 100,” a huge concert in Madrid on April 24.
Crystal Palace striker Cameron Jerome believes the squad has benefited from the Tony Pulis effect in recent games. Former Cardiff man Jerome, currently on a season-long loan from Stoke, believes the appointment of Pulis as the permanent replacement to Ian Holloway has had the desired effect. “From a personal point of view and the team’s point of view, it’s magnificent that someone like that has come in,” the 27-year-old said of Pulis. “Since he’s come in he has carried on the momentum that [caretaker manager] Keith Millen built up over those three or four games. “Tony has come in and he has had a big impact. The boys have responded well to him and we’re getting good results now.” The win over Cardiff came just four days after a 1-0 success at home to West Ham, who will now be looking over their shoulders as Palace continue to close the gap many thought was already insurmountable when Pulis was appointed. But the Welshman has got the players believing in their own ability with Jerome, whose maiden strike for Palace on Saturday was also his first goal since February, one of the main beneficiaries. He said: “Coming in here, playing games and getting a run in the side for the last three or four games and obviously getting the goal – the confidence is there. “It’s been a while since I have been playing games. Now I have come in a played a few games and gone on a run. “The results are starting to come for the team too and that’s the most important thing. We talked about setting the tempo early. “We knew Cardiff had a difficult away game in the week and travelled all the way here. We were at home, we had to take the game to them and we managed to get an early goal.” Whereas Palace are starting to rejoin the pack looking to secure top-flight safety, Cardiff have now won just once in their last nine Premier League games. Their derby success against rivals Swansea remains their only victory during that time and, although they held reigning champions Manchester United to a 2-2 draw, Malky Mackay’s side are now just one point clear of Palace. Fraizer Campbell has been in good form of late, but the striker missed a great early chance to give the Bluebirds the lead at Selhurst Park on Saturday. Mackay insisted afterwards that he is not concerning himself with what is happening beneath his side in the table but, with their next two away games taking them to Liverpool and Arsenal, the former Watford boss will be hoping for some strong home performances over the festive period to steer them clear of trouble. The former Stoke boss took charge at Selhurst Park a little over two weeks ago and has already steered the Eagles to two Barclays Premier League wins. Only an inferior goal difference is keeping Palace in the bottom three after Jerome and strike partner Marouane Chamakh both found the back of the net in a comfortable 2-0 win over Cardiff on Saturday. Press Association