By: Scott Roth
Nearly 25 years after the original “We Are The World” was recorded, musicians have gathered once again to record a new version. The song was originally written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie to provide humanitarian aid to Africa. On Monday (Feb. 1), over 80 artists joined together to remake the hit “We Are The World” in support of Haitian earthquake relief.
Among the voices in the 81-member choir were Akon, Pink, Lil Wayne, Rob Thomas, Kanye West, Nick Jonas, LL Cool J, Robin Thicke, Celine Dion, Akon, Wyclef, Jeff Bridges, Vince Vaughn, Barbra Streisand, Jordin Sparks, Good Charlotte’s Madden brothers, Tony Bennett, Josh Groban, Snoop Dogg, Justin Bieber, Jennifer Hudson, Keri Hilson, Jamie Foxx, Tyrese, Katharine McPhee, Sean Garrett, Will.I.Am, Carlos Santana, Melanie Fiona, Enrique Iglesias, Toni Braxton, Jason Mraz, Miley Cyrus, Busta Rhymes, Nicole Scherzinger, T-Pain, Nicole Richie, Usher, Julianne Hough, Raphael Saadiq, Zac Brown, India.Arie, “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson, Musiq Soulchild, Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson, Fonzworth Bentley (seriously?), Kid Cudi, Iyaz, Bizzy Bone, the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson and Al Jardine, Trey Songz, Faith Evans, Mya and Gladys Knight.
Lending their vocals for solos were Justin Bieber, Celine Dion and Josh Groban. Perhaps the biggest surprise on the track is the solo that we anxiously await from Lil Wayne who took over Bob Dylan’s original part. When Lil Wayne arrived at the studio he was told, “You’re doing Bob Dylan’s part” which Wayne replied “you guys are real good comedians.” Upon completion of his vocals it struck him that “this is, you know, something way more important that I could ever have imagined.”
As for the young Justin Bieber who sang Lionel Richie’s original opening line says, “The experience was out of this world.” The world premiere of the song’s video will air during NBC’s coverage of the opening ceremony of the Vancouver Winter Olympics on Friday, February 12. Till then, we leave you with the original version- feel free to sing along.