Twenty-five years ago, Lionel Richie and the late musical genius Michael Jackson co-wrote the charity single “We Are The World" and recorded it alongside by a plethora of performers ranging from Cyndi Lauper, to Stevie Wonder and Tina Turner. Before embarking on the endeavor that would later raise at least $30 million for African humanitarian aid, Jones told the group of over 45 musicians to “Please check your egos at the door.”
Yesterday, a new era of American musicians, recruited by Richie and Jones at the Grammys last Sunday, checked their egos at the door and joined forces at the Henson studios in Hollywood to record a 2010 version of the classic track to benefit victims and survivors of the Haiti earthquake.
The lineup includes Lady Gaga, Jennifer Hudson, Pink, Celine Dion, Toni Braxton, Keri Hilson, India.Arie, Barbara Streisand, Nicole Scherzinger, Rashida Jones and some others that make me question just what the producers were thinking (Nicole Richie and Vince Vaughn, for example.) The total group of 100 performers doesn’t include any from the original “We Are The World” all-star group.
Though the roster seems promising and will be for a good cause, I can’t help but notice the glaring lack of queer female artists. Sure, we’ve got Gaga but why not substitute out Miley Cyrus for Melissa Etheridge?
They put in Dani Campbell look-alike Justin Bieber (shout-out to Tiff2), but no actual lesbian such as Brandi Carlile or Tegan and Sara. Disappointing, folks. It’s also surprising that Beyoncé, Mariah Carey and Rihanna are absent from the roster.
Nonetheless, while I’m wary that the original track’s integrity may be compromised, let’s hope Quincy Jones stays true to Michael’s original vision, and it raises just as much if not more for earthquake relief worldwide.
Who would you like to hear on the 2010 version of “We Are The World”? You can see the video Feb. 12 during the Winter Olympics.