NBC News' "Today," Warner Music Group and Habitat For Humanity International Announce New Concert Performance For Hurricane Relief

09/30/05
Soul Legends, Allen Toussaint and Irma Thomas, Perform on "Humanity Plaza" on Monday, October 3; NBC News' Ann Curry to Report LIVE From Slidell, LA as the First House From This Week's Humanity Plaza Build Gets Delivered

NEW YORK, NY, Sep 30, 2005 -- NBC News' "Today," Habitat for Humanity International and Warner Music Group Corp. (NYSE: WMG) announced today a special concert performance from recording artists and Gulf Coast natives, Irma Thomas and Allen Toussaint, on Monday October 3, 2005 on NBC's "Today" show.

During Monday's live broadcast from Slidell, LA, Ann Curry will present the first home delivery from the build this week on New York's "Humanity Plaza." Local students will be on hand to celebrate the first day that they can start the school year with several surprises for them and their faculty.

The concert performances are in support of "Make a Difference Today," the hurricane relief initiative by NBC News' "Today," WMG and Habitat for Humanity International.

Thomas and Toussaint, two of Soul music's living legends, are featured on the new Work Song, Rhino, Starbucks Hear Music co-release, "I Believe to My Soul."

"I Believe to My Soul" is a collection of contemporary recordings from living legends of American soul music. While not initially conceived as a benefit recording, in the time since the tracks for "I Believe to My Soul" were recorded in June of 2005, tremendous devastation has struck the U.S. Gulf Coast -- home of two of the featured artists on "I Believe to My Soul," Irma Thomas and Allen Toussaint.

In Starbucks Company-operated locations in the U.S. and Canada, Starbucks Hear Music, Rhino and Work Song will donate $10 of the purchase price of every CD sold to aid in the region's recovery. In all other retail channels in the U.S. and Canada, Starbucks Hear Music and Rhino and Work Song will donate $3 of the purchase price of every CD sold. Donations will be made to the American Red Cross and the Canadian Red Cross (according to the country in which the CD was purchased) to provide support for those affected by Hurricane Katrina. This donation will continue for the lifetime of the CD and is in addition to Starbucks Coffee Company's long-term relief and recovery efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

"I Believe to My Soul" will be available on October 4th in Starbucks and other retail locations.

About Rhino Entertainment

Formed as a novelty company more than 25 years ago in the back of a Santa Monica record store, Rhino has become the world's leading pop culture label. Emphasizing flawless sound quality, bonus tracks, informative liner notes, award-winning creative packaging, an offbeat sense of humor and a strong social conscience, Rhino continues to set the standard for excellence in the reissue business it pioneered. The Rhino catalog of more than 3,000 CDs and videos includes material by Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Chicago, Black Sabbath, John Coltrane, Yes, Alice Cooper, Linda Ronstadt, The Ramones, The Monkees, Carly Simon, The Grateful Dead, Curtis Mayfield and Elvis Costello, among others. Rhino Entertainment is a Warner Music Group company.

About Warner Music Group

Warner Music Group (WMG) became the only stand-alone music company to be publicly traded in the United States in May 2005. With its broad roster of new stars and legendary artists, Warner Music Group is home to a collection of the best-known record labels in the music industry including Atlantic, Bad Boy, Elektra, Lava, Maverick, Nonesuch, Reprise, Rhino, Sire, Warner Bros. and Word. Warner Music International, a leading company in national and international repertoire operates through numerous international affiliates and licensees in more than 50 countries. Warner Music Group also includes Warner/Chappell Music, one of the world's leading music publishers, with a catalog of more than one million copyrights worldwide.

About NBC News' "Today"

NBC News pioneered the morning news program when it launched "Today" over 53 years ago, with Dave Garroway as host. The three-hour live broadcast provides the latest in domestic and international news, weather reports and interviews with newsmakers from the worlds of politics, business, media, entertainment and sports. After more than 48 years of the standard two-hour format, the third hour was launched in October of 2000, making "Today" the only three-hour national morning show broadcast. The program is unparalleled in its ratings dominance in the morning news arena, serving as America's overwhelming favorite for nearly ten consecutive years.

Phil Griffin, Senior Vice President overseeing "Today" is the executive in charge of the "Make a Difference Today" project. Jim Bell is the Executive Producer of "Today" (Monday - Friday, 7-10 a.m.).

About Work Song

Inspired by producing the Grammy®-winning Solomon Burke CD, "Don't Give Up On Me," Joe Henry became obsessed with the idea of recording more new music with some of the great living practitioners of soul music. With that in mind, the Work Song label was formed to begin a series of recordings aspiring to being both contemporary and authentic to the artists involved. The first of these releases is "I Believe to My Soul."

About Starbucks Hear Music

Founded in 1990, and acquired by Starbucks Coffee Company in 1999, Starbucks Hear Music is the voice of music at Starbucks. Starbucks Hear Music is dedicated to creating a new and convenient way for consumers to discover, experience and acquire all genres of great music through its CD compilations and music programming for Starbucks coffeehouses worldwide, as well as its innovative partnerships with other music labels to produce, market and distribute both exclusive and non-exclusive music. In 2004, Starbucks Hear Music launched a 24-hour digital music channel with XM Satellite Radio (XM Channel 75), the Starbucks Hear Music(TM) Coffeehouse in Santa Monica where customers can select from over 15,000 CDs or burn their own custom mixes, and the Starbucks Hear Music(TM) media bars, a service that offers custom CD burning at select Starbucks retail locations in Seattle and Austin. Starbucks Hear Music(TM) CDs are featured at Hear Music and Starbucks retail locations, as well as online at www.starbucks.com/hearmusic.