Recorded on February 1st, 2010, in the same studio as the original 25 years earlier (Henson Recording Studios, formerly A&M Recording Studios) the new version, in which Jones and Richie serve as executive producers and producers, was created in collaboration with executive producers Wyclef Jean, Randy Phillips and Peter Tortorici; producers Humberto Gattica and RedOne; co-producers Rickey Minor, Mervyn Warren and Patti Austin; and project producers John Rubey and Adam Fell to benefit the Haitian earthquake relief efforts and the rebuilding of Haiti.
Academy Award-winning writer-director Paul Haggis (Crash, Million Dollar Baby), whose own personal efforts as well as those of Artists for Peace and Justice have already saved countless lives in Haiti, filmed the private recording session to create the accompanying video and “behind-the-scenes” production, and serves as Film Director and as an Executive Producer with Jones, Richie, Jean, Phillips and Tortorici.
Quincy said, “25 years ago, the entertainment industry showed the power of community to help our fellow man when we recorded ‘We Are The World’ to bring relief to those suffering from famine in Ethiopia. And while the need to assistant Africa continues, today the country of Haiti is suffering immeasurably from the destruction due to the recent earthquake and is in immediate need of relief that will last long after the television cameras have left. As artists, we have joined together on this 25th anniversary and in the spirit of ‘We Are The World’ to help meet that need.”
“What an unbelievable group of people who have come together to give their voices, for a cause to start the healing of a people who have experienced a devastation of such magnitude,” said Richie. “We believe ‘We Are The World – 25 for Haiti’ can be the start of the healing process.”
“I’m thrilled Quincy, Lionel and Randy invited me to be a part of something so wonderful in which we are standing side by side with Haitian artists and community to help them rebuild their broken nation,” stated Paul Haggis.
“On January 12th, the people of Haiti were faced with a tragedy unlike anything the country has ever experienced,” said Wyclef Jean, songwriter and cofounder of the We Are The World Foundation. “Today, I am proud to be joined by so many members of the artistic community that want to support the region and have donated their time and talents to providing an effective way for the global community to get involved with helping the Haitian population.”
The 25th Anniversary recording features over 80 artists and performers. The recording of ‘We Are The World 25 For Haiti’ embodied the same enthusiasm, sense of purpose and generosity as the original recording 25 years ago. Every one of the artists who participated, regardless of genre or generation, walked into the room with their hearts and souls completely open to coming together to help the people of Haiti.
This production was made possible through financial support from Visa Inc.
“We Are the World” is a song and charity single originally recorded by the supergroup USA for Africa in 1985. It was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and co-produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian for the album We Are the World. Honored numerous times — including three Grammy Awards, one American Music Award and a People’s Choice Award — the song was promoted with a critically received music video, a home video, a special edition magazine, a simulcast, and several books, posters and shirts. The promotion and merchandise aided the success of “We Are the World”, which was eventually named the biggest-selling single of all time.
In the years that have followed, USA for Africa has raised and distributed more than $63 million in revenue from the sales of more than 7 million units of the album, single and cassettes, plus nearly 2 million digital sales and related merchandise. Just over half the total was spent on emergency relief (food, medicine, and refugee services) and the balance was used to support more than 500 different relief, rehabilitation and development projects in 18 different countries in sub-Saharan Africa.