Friday, February 26, 2010

We Are The World 25 For Haiti

Heard the remake of the 1985 award-winning classic hit "We Are The World" recently? It's now called "We Are The World 25 for Haiti". What's the 25 for, you ask? Well, it has been 25 years since the original song, written by Michael Jackson & Lionel Ritchie, was recorded in support of famine relief for Ethiopia (USA for Africa). God ... am I OLD! Heheh...

When the original song became a hit in 1985, I was in secondary school, thousand of miles away from home. I remembered people singing it, taking great pains to copy the way the singers sang it to precision - cackling ala Cyndi Lauper and all (the American Idol judges would not have approved ...:P). The song was so popular that we choir girls even sang it for our Hari Ucapan & Penyampaian Hadiah. Reflecting on the matter now though, the song would have been better off with solo performances. But then again, takut Tuanku Sultan Kedah terkezut tang solo Cyndi Lauper tu pulak! Kui! Kui! Kui!

The original song was sung by 21 pop icons in the 70s and 80s, plus many more as back-up singers. Here's the list in order of solo performances:

Lionel Ritchie (favourite singer of Liaw Chiew Sek :))

Stevie Wonder (suka nyanyi lenggok lebih)

3. Paul Simon (from Simon & Garfunkel?)

4. Kenny Rogers (he's more famous in my country for chicken roasters, actually:))

James Ingram (my mom's favourite singer when she came back from the US)

Tina Turner (my dad's fav singer, then :))

Billy Joel (my daughter and I both loved "Uptown Girl")

Michael Jackson ("King of Pop")

9. Diana Ross (a great singer whom MJ admired)

10. Dionne Warwick ("That's What Friends Are For")

Willie Nelson (iconic country singer)

Al Jarreau (renowned jazz n R&B performer)

Bruce Springsteen ("The Boss")

14. Kenny Loggins (Suka jugak lagu mamat nih...)

15. Steve Perry (hmm... sape yek?)

16. Daryl Hall (John Oates' partner)

17. Huey Lewis (lead singer of "the News")

Cyndi Lauper (used to be my sister's fav singer. Masihkah kau ingat, Koob?)

19. Kim Carnes (popular jugak zaman tu...)

Bob Dylan (pop icon nih...)

Ray Charles (legendary soul singer)

The remake was released on February 12, 2010 and introduced to the world during the opening of the 2010 Winter Olympics. It was dejavu of sorts - I am still in school, million of miles away from home :). The song was recorded to support the Haitians in their time of need. It was sung by 36 supposedly top singers of this era plus loads more lending their vocals as backups.

The remake line-ups (in their distinctive categories):

1. "King of Pop" forever
- Michael Jackson (It's his song. So he should be in this one, dead or alive)

2. The ones with great voice and have a right to be here
Jennifer Hudson, Josh Groban, Celine Dion, Mary J. Blige

3. Icon in her own right (should have been in the earlier version)
Barbra Streisand

4. Teen idols of today (Heck, this is THEIR time. So should be in this version regardless of what people think)
Miley Cyrus, Nick Jonas, Justin Beiber

5. Popular singers of the millenia (plus and minus)
Usher, Akon, Enrique Iglesias, Pink, Fergie, Adam Levine (Maroon 5), Nicole Scherzinger (Pussy Cat Dolls)

6. Singers from the 90s
Tony Braxton, Janet Jackson

7. The rappers + autotuners (the inclusion of rap and autotune was heavily criticized but c'mon ... they are part of the millenia popular culture ...)
- Lil Wayne, T. Pain, LL Cool Jay,, Snoop Dog, Busta Rhymes, Swizz Beatz, Iyaz, Nipsey Hussle, Kanye West

8. Who??? (No offence, it's just me :))
Jennifer Nettles, Tony Bennett, Trey Parker, Zach Schultz, Bebe Winans, Mary Mary, Isaac Slade

9. The surprise
Jamie Foxx (a tribute to Ray Charles, perhaps? But he sure can sing:))

10. The one that made me cringe (sorry dude, not my cup of tea no matter how hard I tried :))
- Wyclef Jean

Yeah, when you look at the line -up you wonder where were other big names in the industry (Chris Daughtry? Taylor Swift?? Beyonce???). But then again, are there that many good singers (or good songs) in this century? God, I miss the good old 'younger' days.

As for the songs, you decide which one gives you goosebumps:
(just click the song titles below)

We Are The World - USA for Africa" or
"We Are The World 25 for Haiti".

I like both! :). Enjoy the songs and don't forget to donate to Haiti!

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