Penélope Cruz and Melanie Griffith aren’t exactly known for their musical talent, but both of them sing on a new album, alongside such musical heavyweights as Bob Dylan, Sting, Elton John, and Luciano Pavarotti. The two actresses helped put together the album, called Voices of Hope, as a benefit for the Sabera Foundation, with the proceeds going to benefit an orphanage that houses 150 girls in Calcutta, India. The CD hits stores Nov. 19.
In addition to new tracks by Alanis Morissette, Placido Domingo, and Latin music stars Juanes and Alejandro Sanz, the disc features a duet by Elton John and Pavarotti and tracks pairing a girls’ chorus from the Sabera Foundation with established stars. Dylan sings his ”Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” with the choir, Ricky Martin joins the group on a new song, and Griffith’s husband Antonio Banderas sings with the chorus on John Lennon’s ”Imagine.”
Cruz and Griffith, who are two of the foundation’s U.S. co-presidents, spoke of the girls’ plight at a press conference yesterday, the Associated Press reports. ”For you who have not been in Calcutta, I cannot express, I cannot put into words, how horrible the conditions are,” Griffith said. Cruz said she became attached to the cause years ago when she met Mother Teresa in Calcutta. ”She looked at me in the eye and said, ‘Use what you do,'” Cruz said.
One of those things she does is use her connections. She got to Dylan through his dentist. As she told AP, ”I wrote a personal letter and I made sure that when he was there with his mouth open and not able to move the dentist was going to read the letter to him.”