The original 'We Are the World' was recorded almost exactly 25 years ago to benefit the charity, USA for Africa. Recently, 80 stars got together, including co-writer Lionel Richie and producer Quincy Jones, to remake the classic song to help with Haiti relief efforts. The video was supposed to debut last night during the Olympic opening ceremonies, but they just showed an excerpt. We have the full video here.
It's nice to see some of the same people involved in making the first video in the remake, but this version is populated by mostly new faces including Jennifer Hudson, Josh Groban, Wyclef Jean, and Kanye West, among many others. In fact, there were so many artists featured in this video, that I didn't even recognize them all. The new version is about a full minute longer than the original, and the real question is, how does it stack up?
This isn't just an entertainment we'll be seeing, although it's going to be something to watch how 80 stars were crammed together into a cohesive, musical chorus as spectacular as the original 'We Are the World' 25 years ago. No, this is also a call for donations because there is still a lot of work to be done in Haiti.
For a limited time, iTunes is offering video and audio versions of the performances as well as some exclusive content that wasn't televised during the original air date.
While you can expect to pay a nominal fee for everything you download, all proceeds will be distributed to relief organizations within the U.S. and Africa via the Charity Projects Entertainment Fund.
Although "Idol Gives Back" has already brought in $60 million in donations, it's nice to see some ancillary methods like this iTunes arrangement continuing to bring even more money to the charitable cause.
Check out the American Idol official Fox Site for more details.
Tonight, a bunch of celebrities (including Ellen DeGeneres, Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani, Celine Dion, and a mystery duet) will take to the stage to entertain America and raise even more money and awareness.
And before one of the Idol finalists gets booted, the kids will perform a special anthem -- "American Prayer" -- written by Bono and Dave Stewart about the AIDS emergency in Africa.
Rashida Jones has some pretty amazing genes. She is the daughter of legendary music producer Quincy Jones and actress Peggy Lipton. Yeah, I know. I'm jealous, too. So, of course this beautiful woman (named one of People's 50 Most Beautiful in 2002) can both act and sing. And she's some sort of piano genius who could play classical concerts at the age of five. She is one of the back-up singers on three songs by Maroon 5's breakthrough album, Songs About Jane. And she's wicked smart, graduating Harvard University in 1997. And, even though I haven't seen it, she apparently does a great job of putting Tupac Shakur in his place during an interview in the documentary Thug Angel (Life of an Outlaw). She didn't like some things Tupac had to say about her famous dad.
(Click on the name of the show to hear a sound clip from each theme)
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