Bono gets the (RED) out for World AIDS Day

By | December 2, 2008 at 2:06 AM

LOS ANGELES — Bono’s adding to his résumé for sainthood.

For today’s 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day, the U2 frontman and all-around good guy is helping launch (RED)WIRE, a music-themed site to benefit the cause.  

“Through music [people] are not just celebrating their life, they are celebrating lives and the saving of them,” Bono says in a video message.

And he’s getting some help from a few all-star pals.

Among the featured tunes: the Dixie Chicks’ “Lucky Ones,” the Texas trio’s first new music since 2006’s Taking the Long Way; Jay-Z ‘s “Brooklyn Go Hard,” featuring Santogold ; the Coldplay – Kylie Minogue duet “Lhuna”; and U2’s cover of Greg Lake’s “I Believe in Father Christmas.”

There are several live video clips, such as Elvis Costello and The Police uniting for a “Watching the Detectives” / “Walking on the Moon” medley and John Legend’s in-studio performance of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.”

Also debuting is the latest Killers Christmas single. For three years running, the group has released a holiday single to benefit the (RED) campaign, starting with “A Great Big Sled” in 2006 and last year’s “Don’t Shoot Me Santa.” This year, the group collaborated with Elton John and Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys for “Joseph, Better You Than Me.”

“This is our third Christmas year in a row, and we donate the proceeds to the (RED) campaign,” Killers’ singer Brandon Flowers tells E! Online. “I was sitting at the piano playing around with different chords and I started thinking about Joseph. I don’t know, would you call him Jesus’ stepfather? When you think of Joseph, the only thing that comes to mind is Joseph walking next to a donkey with Mary on it, and that’s about it. He doesn’t get much of a story, so we tried to bring Joseph to life.”

Though music fans can preview the site today via MSN, the magazine will officially be available Dec. 10. Everyone who signs up before that day will be recognized as a “Founding Member” and receive a bonus track by Jay-Z.

Subscribers will get two exclusive new songs every week, one by a major artist and another by an emerging artist, as well as updates on Africa, photography and video shorts. Half the $5 monthly subscription rate goes to the Global Fund, which provides medicine to African AIDS patients with a focus on women and children.

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