Belafonte enlisted the help of Lionel Richie and Kenny Rogers. They in turn got Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson to help. The song itself was written mainly by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson.
We Are the World was the song written and it was recorded in 1985 and has sold more than 20 million copies and earned more than $63 million dollars for charity in Africa and in the United States as well. The song has won many awards, including three Grammy Awards, one American Music Award and a People's Choice Award.
I remember crying when I first heard the song. The music, the lyrics inspired and touched me, but what really reached my heart was the compassion and love that I saw on the faces of the artists that participated. I felt their love and their intense craving to help in any way they could with the talents given to them by God...especially through their voices. It was amazing.
Here's a version of the original We Are the World.
Twenty-five years later, driven by the need to provide help and financial aide to Haiti who experienced a 7.0 magnitude earthquake, it was decided that We are the World would be remade by new artists to reach a whole new generation.
The song was recorded on February 1st in 14 hours by over 80 artists. The new version was aired for the first time during the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Olympics in Canada.
When I first heard the new version, I decided I didn't like it...at all. But then I figured maybe the reason I liked the original version is that it was my version, the version I first heard and fell in love with. And now it's a whole new world, a whole new generation and maybe they need a version that they can love and that can make them feel the way my version made me feel.
So I listened to the new version over and over again and the more I listened to it; the more I experienced the words and the faces and the voices of the new artists, the more I loved it. It's still not as awe-inspiring as my version, but it's pretty darn close.
I love that they included the original clip of Michael Jackson.
And unbelievable as it seems to me my favorite part was the rap part close to the end that was contributed by LL Cool J, Will-I-Am, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, and Swizz Beatz. I love the way they sound, but more than that, I love the lyrics.
We all need somebody that we can lean on
when you wake up look around and see that your dreams gone
when the earth quakes we’ll help you make it through the storm
when the floor breaks a magic carpet to stand on
we are the World united by love so strong
when the radio isn’t on you can hear the songs
a guided light on the dark road your walking on
a sign post to find the dreams you thought was gone
someone to help you move the obstacles you stumbled on
someone to help you rebuild after the rubble’s gone
we are the World connected by a common bond
Love, the whole planet singing along.
Here's the new version. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, let me know what you think.
Which is your favorite version and why?
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