1. DR says

    Am I the only one who noticed they rewrote the song?

    Anyway… I like that the new version encompasses so many styles of artistry. Yes, I’m glad to hear rappers in the song. And while I’m not a huge fan, damn, Wyclef Jean’s voice has got some passion to it.

  2. Allen says

    Parts of it are complete crap… friggin Hannah Montana?! Justin Beeper or whatever his name is?! Actually liked the rap in it… makes since to me. Over all could have been MUCH worse!!

  3. says

    The new one will do alright. But rewatching the original from 1985 it goes to show what talent we once had — no synthetic auto-tune back then, just real voices from some very talented singers. I love that for the new one they had to go with Celine in order to make that crescendo as good as Cyndi’s original—Cyndi should feel very honored.

  4. says

    Mr. Avenjer’s right, I hate how much the autotune is used. But the new version has its high points too. Pink is awesome. And I normally can’t stand Celine, but she sounded great here.

    The old version was a treat… I know he’s cheesy, but I just love Steve Perry. What an instrument.

  5. peterparker says

    I sincerely hope this raises millions and millions of dollars for relief in Haiti, but it is pure and utter shite.

    Jamie Foxx may be delusional enough to believe that running his voice through Auto Tune and singing that dumbass song “Blame It” makes him a musical artist, but everyone else…even Hannah Montana…should have been embarrassed to be in the same recording studio with him.

    Wyclef Jean sounded like a cat being strangled underwater.

    The rap portion of the song, especially when juxtaposed with people actually singing, highlighted the artistic poverty of that genre. The *only* humans on this planet who have ever made rap compelling and beautiful are Saul Williams and Slug from the indie rap group Atmosphere.

    Who thought it was appropriate to give solo performances to Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Nicole Scherzinger, Josh Groban, Nick Jonas, Fergie, Tony Bennett (I’m sorry, but his voice is now as dry and brittle as a bag of leaves from last autumn) and Lil’ Wayne while relegating Natalie Cole, Harry Connick Jr., Gladys Knight, Joel and Benji Madden, Rob Thomas, India Arie and Jordan Sparks to the chorus?!

    Mary J. Blige and Pink were standouts…excellent vocal artists both of them. Celine Dion was (shockingly) good. Even Adam Levine sounded great (perhaps because he followed the aural torture committed by Wyclef Jean?). Enrique Iglesias sounded more soulful and sincere than anyone else, but I admit I would have enjoyed his performance even more if he had been shirtless. I’m no fan of Barbra Streisand, but even now her voice, and her phrasing, remain undeniably superb.

    I never liked the original “We Are The World”, preferring Britain’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, but I do hope this version raises mountains of money for relief in Haiti. After all, they are probably the only people in the world suffering more than those of us who had to be subjected to Wyclef Jean, Jamie Foxx, Akon, T-Pain, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Kanye West and Fergie all in one song!

  6. Rodney says

    A few notes.

    1. The guy at 4:52 can’t sing.
    2. Where is Susan Boyle? Where is Lady Gaga? Beyonce (was she there?)?
    3. I agree that Celine Dion pales in comparison to Cyndi Lauper 25 years earlier.
    4. Jeff Bridges is a renown singer?
    5. Love that JHud got so much screen time (though Barbara probably hates it.

    Overall: A decent video.

  7. says

    First thought that popped into my head was the original “Buy the World a Coke” video with its “Chilltop” remake. Whereas the original is very touching, the remake, for all its effort to connect to a newer time, seems emotionless and artificial.

    Watching the original “We Are the World” [not being nostalgic, by the way, because it’s older than I am] you really can feel the genuine interest in the project from the participants. In the remake, so many of them who turn everything into who can feign emotion the best with excessive improvised melismatics.

    I think there were a few very good performers here, though like others I wonder why certain very notable people were missing when others with a fraction of their talent appeared, and likewise why some of the better singers were trapped in the chorus.

    I actually didn’t mind some of the actual hip hop stuff towards the end, though I despised Lil Wayne and T-Pain’s signature autotune usages, which really detracted from the performance as a whole.

  8. Chitown Kev says


    Having actually been a teenager when the original was made, what made the original so, so notable, was that it was legend after legend after that sang with relatively few newbies. I didn’t like the song then, and this version is horrid.

    I actually enjoyed the rap portion of this, I am so glad that Mary J. Blige has learned how to SANG (she sounded great).

    Celine was OK but no way that tops Cyndi Lauper.

    And…I actually preferred Miss Ross to Miss Streisand in that portion of the song…do I have to turn in my gay card for that?

  9. Corey says

    Was I the only person that thought the new version was a rotted, gutted mess? It was horrible! Giving credit to Pink and Celine for preventing my ears from bleeding.
    Very disappointing effort for such a worthy cause

  10. sparks says

    I loved most of it. The rapping added a new element. The snips of Michael added a nice tie to the original.

    Could have done without Justin Beiber and Miss Cyrus.. neither of them has enough artistry, eloquence, talent, or originality to stand in the company of powerful legendary vocalists like Gladys and Stevie.

    Also could’ve done without the auto-tune. Yes I know it’s a style in today’s music but it just felt inappropriate here.

  11. Eric says

    I don’t like the new version. It just doesn’t sound as powerful as the original. Listening to the original again, I got chills.

    The rap section of the new one is completely out of place. It doesn’t fit in with the rest of the song. They should have cut it instead of trying to be “inclusive.”

  12. James says

    I was all like ‘you guys are total haters’. Then I watched the original.

    Dylan and Kenny Rogers, and Springsteen in one song. Amazing.

    Also, If you saw MJ on TV looking like that today you would just logically assume he was built in CG. His skin is gleaming like latex.

  13. Wha? says

    Where da white people at?


    Talk about reverse discrimination. Are white guys no longer musically viable? And that little teenybopper piece of poultry at the beginning barely counts as male.

    Also, giving Jennifer Hudson and Jamie Foxx (ugh) 15 solos while relegating Gladys Knight to the chorus is shameful.

    Funny how this is the version for the “new generation.” Meanwhile Streisand and Celine were the only ones who could carry a tune, despite the latter aping Cindy Lauper, whose solo in the original was the apex of the song (poor Kim “When We” Carnes).

    Proves that today’s pop culture – and its progeny – are toilet paper.

  14. says

    I actually didn’t mind the rap too much although I felt it was way to long… biggest gripe? With all the talent in that room….Randy Jackson????? Puhleeze. And what was with all the auto tune at the end? Not a fan of this version at all.

  15. AM says

    Ah, the comments here prove — yet again, and par for the course for Towleroad — that racism is alive, well and thriving in the gay community. The next time someone here talks about “gay rights”, please be more honest and just say “white gay rights.”

  16. John says

    The racist trolls are merely the mosquitoes. The swamp is the total lack of comprehension and understanding from folks – many of the regulars here – who complain that responding to racism simply is not necessary because homophobia is a more serious problem. This horrifyingly selfish attitude can be summarized as:

    “We need to talk about your homophobia, but pay no attention to our racism because it is not important.”

    I actually find that dismissive tone more offensive than the racial slurs themselves. I can handle being called names. But to suggest that one form of oppression isn’t even worthy of discussion while running around touting “marriage equality” and “civil rights” is pretty disgusting. And it isn’t a strategy for winning over skeptics within minority communities. That’s for sure.

  17. Chitown Kev says

    Uh, I don’t think we’re talking about “marriage equality” and “civil rights” in THIS thread, though in most other threads you would be right, I would agree with you

    I think we are talking about the paucity of talent in this disaster of a remake project.
    And someone asked the question, how can you have some of the poor excuses for talent here singing and relegate a legend like GLADYS KNIGHT to the chorus.

    It’s not racism to say that the level talent (of what ever race) here was very, very, very poor when compared to 25 years ago and it shows in the song.

    Of course, 25 years ago these people met right after the 1985 Grammys.

    I would rather that Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie had written a new song then to debase the old one. (And I didn’t even like the original version of this).

  18. johnny says

    A bit too much rap and auto-tune, no matter what color it was. Other than that, not too bad, after all, it IS a remake for a good cause.

    Pink was top-notch and I don’t normally like her stuff.

    When you can no longer critique someone of color’s ART lest you be accused of racism, things have gotten way too sensitized. Nobody is talking smack about the artists, they’re talking about what the artists created. Expand your knowledge base and recognize the difference between the two.

  19. Chris says

    From the hateful FAGGOT
    We Are The Ghetto

    Posted by: GrabbinNewscum | Feb 13, 2010 4:46:28 PM

    Hey Grab your Momma was there last night in the ghetto getting her mandingo dick fix….You Fucking Bastard!

  20. dc-20008 says

    I hope it raises money, but…

    This mess exemplifies the horrid state of the music industry today over what it was when the original was done.

    4 or 5 real voices, Barbra, Tony Bennett, Pink, Jennifer Hudson, the Hystrionic Celine–otherwise a bunch of nobodies with no voices.

  21. ED2 says

    this is really just a strange surreal video & concept. What one can argue about the merits of the original is appropriate for the original but to use the form again seems unoriginal and wholly cynical. Jamie Foxx is telling us to dig down into our pockets and give as much as we can. Streisand appearing while getting ready for a world tour. Iglesias isn’t even relevant anymore. Wyclef Jean who it was proven gave none of his money to his “charity”- it all reeks of a disingenuous nature.

    The slickness of the whole affair only furthers the point. They have successfully branded and marketed a tragedy and are doing so in order to further their careers. Not sure how people can do that and still feel good about themselves but I suppose the insulation of an ego is a very powerful thing.

    Also, isn’t it supposed to at least sound good? The song is poorly constructed and almost un-listenable but at least let it sound good.

  22. Chitown Kev says

    Having looked at both videos the second time.

    Where are the black male crooners? (Usher was just going through the motions here)

    Hell, not one black male sounded as good in this as Steve Perry, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Loggins, Daryl Hall or Huey Lewis did in the original (and Steve Perry and Daryl Hall are two sangin’ white boys!) much less Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder and Al Jarreau.

  23. John says

    @Chitown Kev

    If you want to critique the talent or Jamie Foxx’s direction as producer, I certainly have no problem with that. This certainly wasn’t as good as the original. And there are many reasons for that.

    I even agree that Tony Bennett isn’t a particularly good fit for this. But he had regretted not participating in the original. And he has been active in humanitarian and civil rights causes for decades. For a performer in 1960s Las Vegas to do what he did was extraordinary. Sinatra certainly didn’t give a damn. I think it would have been very difficult for them to say no to him.

    Now, with regards to race, I don’t see how comments such as those by Grabbin and Wha? can be interpreted as anything other than provocative. But that’s what they always do. At least they are honest about their feelings.

    Johnny’s response in more in line with what I am trying to expose. Notice how he here glosses over all that – as if it never happened – and then goes straight to denial and code words like “expand your knowledge.” This is precisely what I mean when I say it goes far beyond a few trolls. The attitudes have become so pervasive that they don’t even register on the radar anymore.

  24. Chitown Kev says


    I know that Grabby and others are racist trolls and such, I frequent here more than you think.

    I didn’t feel a need to repeat what you said.

    I don’t think that Barbra Streisand was, per se, a good fit for this, given the mediocre level of talent.

    You know, I remember when Mary J. Blige couldn’t sing but thought that she could do a remake of Chaka Khan’s “Fire.” Lawd, that was awful but there were my younger cousins grooving to it (thank God Blige learned how to sing since then).

    Now the racism that you speak of is one thing.

    That black creative artistry has declined over the years is quite another thing and I see it in all of the arts and that’s what I’m getting at, so yeah, I am making an ethnic critique. I mean back in the day even if you didn’t like, say, a Stevie Wonder or a Michael Jackson or a James Baldwin for the color of their skin, you could not deny their talent.

  25. Chitown Kev says


    Let me put it like this…

    Yes, I understand the racist undertones of Grabby’s comment.

    In the case of this thread and this song and this specific topic, I didn’t disagree with him.

  26. LO says

    born in 1991 and i still love the orignal its untouchable. yeah the remake had a few good singers, mostly pink, jhud, celine, pcd nicole, and mary j blige. n yea the boys, like josh groban, adam levine and usher. to me it turned into a MESS after 4:20

  27. Jeff says

    Who in the hell decided to let that Justin Bieber kid start the song? If it weren’t for that and the auto-tune (couldn’t you let us hear your real voice just one damn time, T-Pain?), I would have been fine with it, rap and all.

  28. AM says

    @CHITOWN KEV, a little lesson (and one that I think John — with his intelligent observation — was trying to impart): benevolent racism is just as bad as aggressive racism…and one could argue it’s actually more insidious.

  29. Chitown Kev says


    Bitch, let me tell you one motherfuckin’ thang.

    I am well aware of “the lesson” that John was imparting (don’t talk to me like a child).

    I am a black man who is well within his rights to critique the poverty of contemporary black culture (or any culture for that matter, the white boys in this hot mess sounded like shit too)

    Maybe I am a little bourgified. But these “rappers” can’t even rap! (I wasn’t opposed to rap being in this video, only the ignorance of the rappers other than LL Cool J.)

    Two critiques here coming from 2 entirely different angles, AM.

    Grabby was being racist, cool, that’s his thing.

    And people who take my comment and want to go off on the racist edge would be totally wrong.

    But if black people remain so sensitive that they cannot critique themselves and black culture (calling ANY critique of the culture racist) then they can’t blame anyone when what passes for “cultural production” goes down the tubes.

    I’m not the type of person to defend bullshit just because it’s “black.” I I’m not the type that’s going to keep such critique “amongst ourselves” either.

  30. johnny says

    John says:

    Johnny’s response in more in line with what I am trying to expose. Notice how he here glosses over all that – as if it never happened – and then goes straight to denial and code words like “expand your knowledge.”

    Expose what? That I feel no matter WHAT I say (or how I say it), if it’s about a person of color’s music you’ll take it as racist? You illustrate my point perfectly, John.

    Expand your knowledge means just what it says. It’s not code. Chitown Kev seems to have figured it out.

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