Lionel Richie, American Idol judge and cowriter of We Are The World, is getting mixed reactions about his choice to re-re-release his famous song. The first version of the charity fundraiser, released in 1985, and benefited victims of famine in Africa. With stars like Michael Jackson (who cowrote the song), Quincy Adams (who produced it), Cyndi Lauper, and John Mellencamp, the song raised over $60million for its cause.
In 2010, less than a year after Michael Jackson’s death, the song was rerecorded with younger artists for the victims of the 7.0 earthquake that devastated so much of Haiti. The artists were chosen in hopes of reaching a younger audience, and Haitian-American artist Wyclef Jean was also asked to participate. The artists included Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Hudson, P!nk and Kanye West. The cover featured updated lyrics and a rap interlude written by will.i.am. Quincy Jones was also a key figure in the production of this video.
Last month, to raise money for the Covid-19 effort, Lionel Richie decided to release the song again, this time as the finale to American Idol. The American Idol finalists, along with some judges and past contestants, were the artists of choice on this one, all of them recording from quarantine. In lieu of a group recording session, this video is mostly of places emptied by the Coronavirus-related lockdown.
So which one is your favorite?