We Are the World 25 for Haiti

Twenty five years after it first swamped the world “We are the world” is back in all its glory and with an all new cast of singers. The original was designed to be a benefit single for African famine relief and was penned by Lionel Richie and the late Michael Jackson. The duo was given the task of writing the song by Harry Belafonte and Ken Kragen.

Richie is once again part of the song, this time as a conductor along with Quincy Jones who was also an integral part of the 1985 effort. “We are the World: 25 for Haiti” was initially not designed for the Haitian earthquake relief efforts, but with the unfortunate events that unfolded in Haiti, Richie and Jones decided to transform the commemorative effort into one that would once again be about relief.

The new version of the song features over 75 artists, updated lyrics and music. It also has a rap segment and a duet between Michael & Janet Jackson. The song was unveiled during the broadcast of the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics on NBC. All of the proceeds generated by the song will be channeled through the We Are the World Foundation to support the relief efforts in Haiti.

The earthquake hit on January 12, 2010 leaving the country devastated with millions homeless. The death toll is eventually expected to top 200,000 in number.

The video, directed by Paul Haggis and the single, are available for purchase on iTunes.

Grammys stage 3-D tribute to Jackson

The “Avatar” 3-D trend is spreading everywhere, with the newest venture being a 3-D tribute to Michael Jackson during the Grammy awards. A specially transformed 3-D version of Jackson’s “Earthsong” will be the centerpiece of the Grammys when it airs on 31 January 2010.

First heard in 1995, “Earthsong” was also included in the “This is it” album as well. The story in the video was modified for the series of concerts Jackson was planning to do before his premature death. “There are these incredible images of the beauty of nature, and then they are seen through the eyes of a little girl, and that girl falls asleep and when she wakes up, she bears witness to the destruction of nature,” said Grammy’s co-executive producer Ken Ehrlich. “It is all about questioning what our values are.”

TV viewers do not need to worry about not being at the event, as CBS will broadcast the 3-D video. However, 3-D viewing glasses must be purchased and this can be done at any Target store as they are the exclusive suppliers.

In his glittering career, Michael Jackson won 13 Grammys’ and so it is fit that he will be honored in the special segment by other Grammy winners. They include Usher, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Smokey Robinson and Celine Dion. Every time he performed for the Grammys, Jackson did something that was never done before, so it is fitting that such a tribute is accorded to him. Jackson will also be honored with a Lifetime Achievement award at the ceremony.