Japan relief album tops iTunes charts in 18 nations

TOKYO - Songs for Japan, the charity album released to raise funds for disaster relief after Japan was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami this month, has rocketed to the top of iTunes charts in 18 nations.

Featuring artists such as John Lennon (Imagine), U2 (Walk On) and Lady Gaga (Born This Way), the 38-track album has been available for US$9.99 (S$13) since Friday.

EMI Music, Sony Music , Universal and Warner Music lent hit tracks to the album and the CD is slated to hit stores on April 4.

According to iTunes, the album has leapt to the top of 18 out of 22 charts, including the United States, France, Germany, Australia, Sweden and Japan.

Proceeds will go to the Japanese Red Cross society with participating artists, music labels, music publishers and iTunes having waived royalties and fees.

The 9.0 magnitude quake and giant tsunami that followed have left more than 27,500 dead or missing.