R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” has been picked by Simon Cowell as the all-star single British Prime Minister Gordon Brown asked him to pull together to benefit earthquake victims in Haiti.
    Rod Stewart, Leona Lewis and Michael Buble have reportedly already signed on to record the track, with Paul McCartney and Coldplay in talks to join in.
    R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe said the band was honored by the choice.
    “How could we not say ‘absolutely yes!’ to this appeal to help the terrible situation in Haiti?” Stipe told The Sun. “We are honored to play even a small role in trying to help. This song, since its release, has clearly taken on a life of its own. The message is very simple, and very human; and that simplicity resonates with people. It points towards our fragility and our strength, be it physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual.”

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UPDATE: Mariah Carey has signed on. Kylie Minogue and a Take That reunited with Robbie Williams are also set.

PHOTO: Michael Stipe by Michael E. Ach for Newsday.