It was surreal moment to watch video of Quincy Jones and Lionel Ritchie produce the current Who's Who of the Music Industry and remake "We Are the World". I knew Quincy was planning the remake of the song -- he had mentioned it in passing as we crossed paths at various official Grammy events during Grammy week. Specifically at the Grammys, he mentioned that Monday, April 1st, 2010 was going to be a big day. He would be at Henson Recording Studios all day where the original song was recorded and there they would recreate magic as they had done 25 years prior.
Beyond the impressive 75 mega stars like Pink, Celine Dion and Akon that gathered for a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with Quincy Jones and Lionel Ritchie, all the music of Michael Jackson has been liberated since his death. I often wonder if anyone would have touched the tainted singer's immense brilliant catalogue had he lived. "Earth Song" was lovingly redone at the Grammys with Michael Jackson's voice singing along with several different artists on stage. His music is flowing through the airwaves freely like it did before the scandal. "We are the World" is fully liberated to bring awareness and solidarity like it did when it was first recorded.
The song is its own public service announcement. It brought public awareness to a massive global problem through the use of the universal language of music. There is no denying -- we are the world. By Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie in 1985, "We are the World" raised over 30 million for USA for Africa, an NGO founded by the singers to fund hunger relief in African nations. The newly created non-profit, appropriately titled "We are the World" is founded by Quincy Jones and Lionel Ritchie. Created for the purpose of raising money for Haiti, the non-profit makes it easy for anyone to donate by using a cell phone. Texting 50555 or "world" donates $10 directly to a fund which then is distributed to another charitable organization 'with meaningful and efficient relief' for Haiti.
Currently the remake, which features Michael Jackson in the chorus, is number one on iTunes. A message from Quincy Jones and Lionel Ritchie aired globally during the broadcast of the Olympic opening ceremonies along with the video. A perfect time to bring attention to the song and Haiti 's need for help.