Twenty-five years after the original recording, history was made once again on Monday night (Feb. 1) as over 75 stars gathered to record a contemporary remake of “We Are the World” at Henson Recording Studios in Hollywood.
Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie, the producer and co-writer of the iconic 1985 philanthropic anthem, teamed with Wyclef Jean, producer RedOne, and producer-musical director Rickey Minor for the new version called “We Are the World – 25 for Haiti,” benefitting Haitian earthquake relief efforts.
The recording session took place in the same studio as the original song written by Richie and Michael Jackson, and featured a diverse lineup including Lil Wayne (redoing Bob Dylan’s verse), Kanye West, Jennifer Hudson, Trey Songz, Drake, Barbra Streisand, Toni Braxton, Snoop Dogg, Usher, Pink, Jamie Foxx, T-Pain, Keri Hilson, Brandy, Robin Thicke, Miley Cyrus, Busta Rhymes, Nicole Scherzinger, Akon, Tony Bennett, Carlos Santana, and many others.
“After I did Bob Dylan’s part, it kinda hit me that I guess this is something way more important than I could’ve ever imagined,” Wayne told reporters, while responding “Hell no!” when asked if his version was better than Dylan’s.
Singer Josh Groban also shared his experience. “To be smack-dab in the middle of a sandwich between Barbra Streisand and Weezy was personally a creative experience I don’t think I’ll ever have the pleasure of having again,” he remarked.
The world premiere of “We Are the World – 25 for Haiti,” along with the accompanying 3-D video, will air during NBC’s coverage of the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver Winter Olympics on Friday, February 12.