Can it really be a quarter of a century since actor/activist Harry Belafonte enlisted the services of Lionel Richie, Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson and 43 other stars from the ’80s musical firmament to raise money for famine relief in Africa? Next week, Jones will mark the occasion by recording a new version of “We Are The World.”
Jones has asked a number of performers – including Usher, Natalie Cole and John Legend – to hang around in Los Angeles after the Jan. 31 Grammy Awards ceremony and join him at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Feb. 1 to update the 1985 song.
The Grammy-winning musician/producer told several news outlets last week that his original intention was to hit the studio on Jan. 28, the actual 25th anniversary of the now famous recording session that produced the song that spawned Live Aid, Farm Aid and two decades of benefit events.
After Haiti was struck by a devastating earthquake two weeks ago, Jones decided to make helping the people of the troubled island nation the focus of the new “We Are The World.”
There’s no word on whether participating artists will once again be required to “check their egos at the door” or if Prince, who was a no-show the first time around, and Cyndi Lauper’s jewelry, which created headaches for the recording engineers in 1985, will be part of the anniversary project.