LOS ANGELES — The energy was electric Monday night (February 1) at Henson Studios as more than 80 of music’s biggest stars gathered for a charity remake of “We Are the World” in support of Haitian earthquake relief.
“I feel like a kid in a candy store,” Wyclef Jean said, speaking to the press about the idea of remaking such an iconic song, which is getting production help from RedOne and Will.I.Am. “What’s bigger than a contribution is that you lend your voice,” the Haitian native said earlier in the day to his peers while trying to inspire them during the session, which began around 3 p.m. and was expected to last well into the night.
Kanye, wearing a red jacket with sparkling gold crisscross accents, stood center in the front row, between Wyclef and Hudson.
Among the soloists whose sessions were screened for journalists at press time were Bieber, Dion and Groban. Weezy also came out and humbly noted that he recorded the solo originally sung by Bob Dylan.
The inspirational lyrics were laid down over a track that had a more modern Southern hip-hop bounce to it. The recording session took place almost 25 years to the day since the original song for African famine relief was recorded.
“The experience was out of this world,” said Bieber, who sang Lionel Richie’s original opening line. The video for the song, which is being shot in 3-D, will debut February 12. (TDHS: “We Are the World — 25 for Haiti” will premiere this month during coverage of the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics on NBC, according to a release from promoter AEG Live.)
SKIP TO 6 MINUTES TO SEE ANN AND NANCY ARRIVE!
USATODAY: Despite a total cast turnover, Nancy Wilson of Heart saw a strong parallel to the 1985 lineup. “I just remember thinking, ‘What an odd collection of unlikely people that somehow managed to be cool together anyway,’ ” she said. “That’s how it felt tonight.” USATODAY: “Quincy Jones was just beaming like the sun,” Heart’s Nancy Wilson said, “and the room got hotter.”