‘We Are the World’ + ‘Everybody Hurts’

Last night 80 artists, including Jennifer Hudson, Carlos Santana, Pink, Celine Dion and Brian Wilson, spent their evening re-recording the charity song “We Are the World.” This time around proceeds will go toward Haiti earthquake relief.

“We Are the World – 25 for Haiti” was re-recorded at Jim Henson Studios in Hollywood, Calif., the same studio where the original song was recorded 25 years ago. The tune will make its world premiere Feb. 12 during NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Vancouver, British Columbia. Proceeds will go toward the newly formed charity We Are the World Foundation LLC, then be distributed to Haiti.

The re-recording was organized by Quincy Jones, who producer the original 1985 song, and Lionel Richie, who wrote the original song along with Michael Jackson.

The new version’s lineup has none of the 1985 performers.

“This is about a new generation mixed with an old generation,” said Randy Phillips, chief executive of AEG Live and Richie’s manager.

Photo: AP Photo
Singers across genres join in re-recording ‘We Are The World" at Jim Henson Studios in Hollywood, Calif. 

In addition to Hudson, Pink, Dion and Wilson, the re-recording features Natalie Cole, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Usher, Katharine McPhee, Toni Braxton, Barbra Streisand, Harry Connick Jr., Jeff Bridges, Nick Jonas, Good Charlotte’s Joel and Benji Madden, Miley Cyrus, Josh Groban and Maroon 5′s Adam Levine.

According to CNN.com, fans should also look out for vocal appearances from: Jason Mraz, Orianthi, Jamie Foxx, Sugarland, Earth, Wind & Fire, Indie.Arie, Julianne Hough, Mary Mary, Melanie Fiona, BeBe Winans, Mya, Gladys Knight, Heart, Brandy, Akon, Rob Thomas, Kid Cudi, The Fray’s Issac Slade, Drake, Robin Thicke, Enrique Iglesias, Zac Brown Band’s Zac Brown and Tony Bennett.

The Black Eyed Peas frontman and producer will.i.am wrote an interlude that features rappers including Snoop Dogg, LL Cool J and Wyclef Jean.

Artists stopped by the studio to work on the tune for several hours while a number of soloists, including Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger, stayed a bit longer to work with Richie and Jones and get those notes just right. Additional soloists include Streisand, Groban and Lil Wayne taking over Bob Dylan’s original part.

“This one, the enthusiasm, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Richie said.

The original version of “We Are The World” featured 45 American artists including Jackson, Richie, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen and Cyndi Lauper. The tune raised more than $30 million for the nonprofit USA for Africa, which the singers founded to help fight hunger in Africa.

“Ameican Idol” judge and music producer Simon Cowell quickly organized his own charity single to help victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake with a re-recording of the REM ballad “Everybody Hurts.”

The tune hit the Internet and airwaves today. Fans can download the cover Sunday and pick it up in stores on Sunday, according to the Sun newspaper. Cowell teamed up with the British paper to promote the record.

The re-recording of “Everybody Hurts,” which was recorded in London and Los Angeles, features Mariah Carey, Jon Bon Jovi, Susan Boyle, Robbie Williams, Rod Stewart, Michael Buble, Kylie Minogue and Cheryl Cole.

The tune can be ordered online at hmv.com, play.com and amazon.co.uk, with proceeds going toward the Helping Haiti fund.
Click here for the CNN.com article.

Click here for the AP article.