Various Artists

Hope for Haiti Now

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Hope for Haiti Now sold over 170,000 copies during its first two days of release, making it the first digital album to ever top the Billboard charts. Part of that success was due to the album’s charitable mission -- raising funds for Haiti after the 2010 earthquake -- but it’s hard to overlook the fact that some of these performances are surprisingly, genuinely good. Coldplay, Sting, and Madonna all perform original material, while Bruce Springsteen, Mary J. Blige, and John Legend tackle old spirituals. The two numbers that that pack the strongest punch, however, are Justin Timberlake’s “Hallelujah” -- performed with fellow Mouseketeer Matt Morris, who sings harmony and takes the lead for one verse -- and Beyoncé's formidable, emotional rendering of “Halo” with Chris Martin on piano.

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