Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Music's brightest stars were back in a familiar "World" on Monday - recording a new version of the song that raised more than $30 million for African hunger-relief programs 25 years ago.

"We Are the World," which was responsible for getting such '80s icons as Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Lionel Richie and Cindy Lauper under one roof, is being updated to benefit the victims of last month's devastating earthquake in Haiti.

NY Daily News reports that a day after Sunday's Grammys in L.A., some of today's biggest names - and a smattering of familiar old faces - were part of an all-star choir that gathered in the same Hollywood studio where the original was performed in 1985 under the direction of Quincy Jones.

Joining Jones, who was back again as producer, and Richie (who co-wrote the song with Jackson) was singer Wyclef Jean, a native of Haiti who has been at the forefront of earthquake relief efforts.

"When I got in the music business, my whole life changed," Jean told the group, according to "Today, it represents what the whole mission was for me.

"What's bigger than a contribution is the fact that you lent your voice," he added. "The fact that you lent your voice means that we are going into the 21st century Haiti, and I promise you we are not going backwards."

While nearly 50 artists collaborated on the original, Monday's recording session attracted more than 80 singers representing several genres and generations of music, according to

Huddled in the same crowded studio were such stalwarts as Tony Bennett and Barbra Streisand alongside fresh faces like 15-year-old singer Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus.

The cross-section of artists also included Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx, Pink, Celine Dion, Usher,, Enrique Iglesias, Kanye West, The Jonas Brothers and Robin Thicke, reports.

The video of the new "We Are the World" recording session, directed by Paul Haggis ("Crash"), will premiere on Feb. 12 on NBC during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.

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