Ben Folds Gets “Sleazy,” Covers Ke$ha for Tsunami Relief

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To paraphrase a certain popstar who spells her name with a dollar sign, you can’t imagine the immensity of the f**k Ben Folds is giving about the relief effort for Japan in the wake of the tsunami and 9.0 earthquake on March 11.

The singer-songwriter, who is actually touring East Asia this month, managed to book studio time to record an exclusive song for the Download to Donate benefit compilation organized by Linkin Park’s Music for Relief nonprofit. Download to Donate compiles 24 (and counting) exclusive tracks (all available to stream from Soundcloud), and while many artists contributed live tracks, some, including Sara Bareilles, whose star-packed lip-dub music video “Uncharted” has been the source of Folds’s most recent appearances on VH1, recorded new tracks (Bareilles provided “Song for a Soldier”).

Folds, whose Dr. Dre cover “Bitches Ain’t S**t” became one of his bestselling songs thanks to digital purchases, has not only returned to the realm of “out-of character” covers in hopes of raising money for Save the Children but also, several weeks after making the cover available to Download to Donate, used his not-insubstantial internet fan base (nurtured over time with live Chatrouletting, Pomplamoose collaborations, and what have you) to spread the word wider, creating a makeshift video for the song (above) from footage of the recording session. Whether or not his cover measures up to Ke$ha‘s original, his heart is definitely in the right place. (Listen to Ke$ha’s “Sleazy” below to compare.)