Entertainment

K'naan's Wavin' Flag raises $1M for Haiti relief

A star-studded, remixed version of K'naan's ubiquitous track Wavin' Flag has raised more than $1 million for victims of the Haitian earthquake.
K'naan, left, performed the benefit single version of his hit Wavin' Flag to close the Juno Awards in St. John's on April 18. He was joined by several other Canadian artists, including award-winning rapper Drake. ((Mike Dembeck/Canadian Press))
A star-studded, remixed version of K'naan's ubiquitous track Wavin' Flag has raised more than $1 million for victims of the Haitian earthquake.

Since its release on March 12, the benefit single racked up seven consecutive weeks atop Canadian radio charts, sold more than 160,000 copies on online music retailer iTunes and its accompanying music video viewed more than 4.5 million times, organizers announced on Wednesday.

Drake, Justin Bieber, Kardinal Offishall, Nelly Furtado and Nikki Yanofsky were among the dozens of Canadian artists who joined K'naan on the charity single, which was quickly organized and recorded in early February.

"What happened was, we were watching the [fundraising remake of] We Are the World in the United States the day after the Grammy awards, and the instinct was 'We want to do something as Canadians,'" Randy Lennox, the president and CEO of Universal Music Canada, told CBC in March.

"The moment of this song — watching these 57 artists come together in Vancouver — was unbelievable. A really rewarding moment for our history," he said.

The money raised from the single is earmarked for several charities with on-the-ground efforts in Haiti, including Free the Children, War Child Canada and World Vision.

Wavin' Flag, a track off Somali-born, Toronto-based K'naan's 2009 album Troubadour, was also selected to be the official song of the World Cup Trophy Tour, which made its sole Canadian stop in Toronto on Wednesday.

Earlier this month, K'naan was named artist and songwriter of the year at the 2010 Juno Awards in St. John's.

Drake, Bieber and Yanofsky joined him onstage to sing the benefit single version of Wavin' Flag to close the televised awards gala.

With files from The Canadian Press