The Material Girl has released some new material.
In honor of the upcoming Live Earth concerts, Madonna has penned a new single, "Hey You," which she will perform at the July 7 event at London's Wembley Stadium, her record label said Thursday.
Fans can download the Pharrell Williams-produced track for free on liveearth.msn.com through May 24. For the first million downloads, Microsoft has pledged to donate 25 cents per download to the Alliance for Global Climate Change.
"The early release of 'Hey You' is an incredible boost to our efforts to get people engaged in the environmental cause," Live Earth founder Kevin Wall said in a statement. "We are thrilled that Madonna donated her art to Live Earth and is a part of this movement for us."
The song is a stripped-down folksy ballad, featuring lyrics like: "Hey you/ Don't you give up/ It's not so bad/ There's still a chance for us." Which is to say, it's unlikely to inspire listeners to hit the dance floor.
Initial response on various Madonna fansites was mixed, with some fans decrying the track's message as overly sentimental and the lyrics as weak, while others defended the song as "sweet" and "not that bad," while commending the singer's commitment to charity.
The charity single is not expected to be included on Madonna's next album, which is tentatively slated for a November release. In addition to Williams, Justin Timberlake and Timbaland have reportedly been collaborating with the singer on the project.
Meanwhile, in other Live Earth news, Warner Bros. Records has confirmed it will release a live CD/DVD of the July 7 concerts around the world.
Earlier this week, organizers announced that Istanbul would be the site of another Live Earth leg, in addition to the concerts taking place in London, New York, Sydney, Shanghai, Tokyo, Johannesburg, Rio de Janeiro and Hamburg. Additionally, several research scientists in Anarctica have formed their own band to make sure all seven continents are represented.
So far, only the U.S., U.K. and Australian lineups have been revealed, with organizers promising to release additional artist rosters in the coming days.
Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow and Kanye West are among the acts playing Giants Stadium, while the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Black Eyed Peas will join Madonna at Wembley Stadium. Crowded House, Jack Johnson and Wolfmother lead the lineup at Sydney's Aussie Stadium.