Having been personally asked by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to record a charity single to raise money for Haiti, X-Factor figurehead Simon Cowell has chosen R.E.M.'s Everybody Hurts for the occasion.

Cowell's version of the song is rumoured to feature the vocal talents of Paul McCartney, Take That and Robbie Williams. Gordon Brown has said that VAT on the record will be waived in the UK to maximize revenues, and R.E.M. are waiving all royalties for the song.

The band's manager Bertis Downs said "We are deeply touched the song has been chosen for this Haiti campaign ... It means a lot that the song the guys wrote all those years ago will be used for such an important appeal."

N-Dubz, Leona Lewis, Will Young and Rod Stewart are also expected to appear on the single, which will raise money for the Helping Haiti fund and the Disasters Emergency Committee.

Among the other efforts taking place around the world for the cause, Radiohead are set to play a benefit concert in LA on Sunday, Lionel Richie and Quincy Jones are to re-record "We Are The World", and Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys and Damon Albarn have donated memorabilia to an online auction.