Good Charlotte frontman Joel Madden has leaped to the defence of Kanye West following his controversial comments at Friday's (02SEP05) telethon fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina victims, insisting the rapper was practicing every American's right to freedom of speech.

West joined a number of stars to help raise money for the survivors of last week's (29AUG05) horrific hurricane and subsequent flooding of the country's Gulf Coast on A CONCERT FOR HURRICANE RELIEF.

The hip-hop star departed from his script on the teleprompter and blasted US President George W Bush, saying, "George Bush doesn't care about black people."

He honed in on the media portrayal of African-Americans, claiming, "If you see a black family it's looting but if it's a white family they are looking for food."

While NBC censored some of West's remarks in time for the west coast broadcast of the show, many celebrities, including Matt Damon, Jay-Z and SEAN 'DIDDY' COMBS are defending West's comments.

Madden says, "The great thing about our country is we all get to say what we feel and believe. Whether you agree with him, or whether I agree with him or not, he has the right to say what he thinks.

"I think Kanye is very passionate about the tragedy down there. He's just trying to get other people as fired up as he is."