Jay-Z and a panel of dignitaries that included Gov. David A. Paterson and Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta announced Monday a benefit concert at Madison Square Garden on Sept. 11 that they hope will remind the country of the terrorist attacks in 2001 and help raise awareness of the heroic acts on that day.
"On Sept. 12  I turned on the TV and saw footage of these heroic actions, people running into buildings and saving each other, and I saw the strength of New York, it may me proud," said Jay-Z, who released the first of "The Blueprint" albums on Sept. 11, 2001. "As I was involved in putting out 'The Blueprint 3,' it was only right to revisit the day. This is my chance to do something to help out."
The rapper, who will also release the much-awaited "The Blueprint 3" album on Sept. 11, hopes to raise up to $1 million by donating the proceeds from the "Answer the Call" concert to the New York Police & Fire Widows and Children's Benefit Fund. Paterson said the concert could play an even more important role by appealing to a younger audience and tapping into their feelings about the attacks.
"I think it sends a tremendous message that the young people . . . that they feel the pain of Sept. 11 as well," Paterson said. "They know the country was attacked and they want to contribute by coming to this concert and supporting the widows and families of the firefighters, the police officers and the first responders."
The benefit, which Jay-Z said may include some special guests and probably will include songs from the new album, will also be broadcast live nationally on Fuse, as part of the cable network's partnership with The Garden. Stephen J. Dannhauser, the Benefit Fund's president and chief executive, said the concert and its broadcast will help generate publicity for the charity, which helps support more than 700 widows and their families.
Tickets for the concert will all be $50 and go on sale Sept. 8 through Ticketmaster.