25 years after the original version was recorded, a new batch of stars convened at the Jim Henson Studios in Hollywood, CA to re-record the charity anthem We Are The World in an effort to raise money and awareness for Haitian Relief. 25 years ago, We Are The World was written and recorded in an effort to raise money for African Aid so it is very fitting that the song would be remade for the people of Haiti. Here are a few photos from inside the recording studio yesterday for this momentous occasion:
Producers were putting the final touches Tuesday to a remake of “We Are The World” with stars such as Barbra Streisand, Wyclef Jean and Celine Dion lending their support for Haiti’s quake victims. It was 25 years ago that Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen joined others at the famed A&M Studios in Hollywood for an all-star recording of the same song to benefit famine relief in Africa. That effort, USA for Africa, raised 63 million dollars. This time, dozens of other A-listers — who also include Usher, Lil Wayne, Pink, Natalie Cole and the Jonas Brothers — took to the same soundstage late Monday for an hours-long recording that dragged into the night. The aim is to raise money to help survivors of the massive January 12 quake that killed 170,000 people and devastated what was already the poorest country in the Americas. No cameras were allowed inside, but the song’s producers said “We Are The World – 25 For Haiti” will air during NBC television’s coverage of the opening of the Winter Olympics on February 12. More than 70 stars — many of them hip-hop artists — lent their voice to the effort, none of them participants in the original recording. Rapper Wyclef Jean, a Haiti native, said in a statement he was “proud to be joined by so many members of the artistic community that want to support the region and have donated their time and talents to providing an effective way for the global community to get involved with helping the Haitian population.” The original tune was co-written and produced by Jackson, who died June 25 of cardiac arrest, Lionel Richie and Quincy Jones. Richie and Jones produced the new version. Academy Award-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis, who directed “Crash” and also co-wrote “Million Dollar Baby,” filmed the session for an accompanying video. “What an unbelievable group of people who have come together to give their voices, for a cause to start the healing of a people who have experienced a devastation of such magnitude,” said Richie. Among the other performers spanning a broad swath of genres and ages, from 83-year-old Tony Bennett to 15-year-old Justin Bieber, were Carlos Santana, Brian Wilson and Al Jardine of the Beach Boys. “It kind of hit me that I guess this is something way more important than I could have ever imagined,” rapper Lil Wayne, who is playing Bob Dylan’s part from the original recording, told a news conference. The recording was timed just a day after the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards to ensure the maximum number of stars would attend. The contemporary version of the song and the video will be available to buy through online and traditional retailers. Producers say all proceeds will go “directly” to earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.
This is such a fantastic idea … what a great way to raise money for Haitian relief. It’s such a shame that Michael Jackson couldn’t be part of this redux but it was nice of Kanye West to wear one of MJ‘s jackets so that he could be there in spirit. I can’t even begin to express how much of an impact the original We Are The World had on me when it was released in 1985. I loved that song so much … I would sit by the radio and record it on cassette tapes every time it aired … I would have cassette tapes with just this song recorded on it over and over again. I’m really looking forward to hearing this version. I’m not sure why this report claims there were “no cameras” allowed in the studio because there were and a lot of photos have been made available. After the jump, check out some individual shots of some of the folks who participated in We Are The World: 25 Years for Haiti yesterday …
Barbara Streisand and Snoop Dogg, y’all … how awesome is that? I can’t WAIT to hear this new version of We Are The World … but while we wait for its release, let’s take some time to watch the music video for the original version recorded 25 years ago:
The facial expressions, the clothes, the hair … ah, memories. I can’t wait to hear which of the new batch of singers will get which parts of the song. So cool!!
[Photo credit: Wireimage; Source, Source]