Michael Stipe is best known as the lead singer of the popular band R.E.M., but recently, he's been focused on the ongoing devastation in the Gulf Coast region. To raise money for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, Stipe recorded six versions of the song "In the Sun," by singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur. For some of the versions, he was joined by other stars, such as Chris Martin of Coldplay and Justin Timberlake. All six are available for download on iTunes, with all the proceeds going to Mercy Corps.
In January 2006, Stipe traveled to New Orleans and returned shaken by what he saw. Several weeks later, he spoke to Beliefnet about the trip, his efforts on behalf of Katrina's victims, and the role of God and faith in natural disasters and their aftermath.
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