Yoko Ono visits Amnesty International to celebrate Instant Karma album success

Yoko Ono will visit Amnesty International’s global headquarters in London on 24 September to celebrate the success of a double CD of classic John Lennon songs released earlier this year to raise money for Amnesty and to help focus attention on the human rights crisis in Darfur.

Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign To Save Darfur, released by Warner Bros. Records in June this year, was made possible through the generosity of Yoko Ono, who granted Amnesty International the rights to all of Lennon’s post-Beatles songs and donated all music-publishing royalties.

Some of the biggest international names in music, including U2, Green Day, R.E.M., Avril Lavigne, Christina Aguilera, The Cure, Snow Patrol and Youssou N’Dour, came together for the project, which will culminate in the release of a digital box set on 9 October, John Lennon’s birthday. More than 50 artists from every continent have recorded songs and in many cases video pieces.

Yoko Ono said:

"I am very honoured that Amnesty International has shown this recognition of my efforts to promote the idea of a more peaceful world.

“I feel that we are all on the same path, a path I embarked on with my husband John many years ago, and one that I still feel he is with me on. It is all the more timely as this comes just before I unveil Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland on October 9, John’s birthday. Imagine Peace."

Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International, said the success of Instant Karma underscores the powerful influence music can have to help change the world:

"Instant Karma has helped increase global awareness of the massive tragedy that continues to unfold in Darfur, a crisis in which countless civilians have been left unprotected.

"Amnesty International is very grateful for the generosity of Yoko Ono, Executive Producer Jeff Ayeroff and Warner Bros. Records, who together with the support of international artists, have brought a new constituency of youth and music lovers from around the world to take action to end the unspeakable human rights crisis in Darfur."

Since its launch, the Instant Karma double CD has shipped over 500,000 physical copies worldwide and has just achieved platinum status in Ireland and gold in Italy. The album has also achieved considerable digital success, reaching number one on the iTunes album chart in Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Luxemburg and Portugal, and the top five spot in almost all other countries.

The project has also succeeded in attracting artists, music fans and young human rights activists from around the globe to the cause of human rights and the work of Amnesty, with over 100,000 people signing up for online actions.

The 9 October release of the Instant Karma digital box set will include all the double CD tracks, plus previously unreleased material exclusively recorded for the project, bringing the total to over 50 tracks.

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