On This Day in Pink History… 1st February 2010, Pink took part in the We Are The World remake
“We Are the World 25 for Haiti” is a charity single recorded by the supergroup Artists for Haiti in 2010. It is a remake of the 1985 hit song “We Are the World”, which was written by American musicians Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and was recorded by USA for Africa to benefit famine relief in Africa. Initially, in late 2009, it had been suggested to Richie and Quincy Jones—producer of the original “We Are the World”—that a re-cut version of the song be re-released under the title “Live 25”. Following the magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake in Haiti, which devastated the area and killed thousands of people, it was agreed that the song would be re-recorded by new artists, in the hope that it would reach a new generation and help benefit the people of Haiti.
The song was recorded in fourteen and a half hours by over eighty artists on February 1, 2010. It was produced by Quincy Jones, and executively produced by Lionel Richie, and Haitian-American musician Wyclef Jean. A music video directed by Paul Haggis was released to accompany and promote the song. The song was also recorded in Spanish by a Latin supergroup and was named Somos el Mundo. The song was directed by Emilio Estefan and his wife, Gloria Estefan.
The new version of the song was recorded on February 1, 2010, in a session lasting 14 hours. Eighty-five musicians were reportedly involved in the song’s recording, which was held in the same place as the original, at Henson Recording Studio on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. Also similar to the 1985 process, some of the participating musicians were already in Los Angeles to attend an awards ceremony: the 52nd Grammy Awards. Jones said of the recording session, “It was a big challenge. It takes a serious army and serious emotional architecture. I’ve never seen such a diverse group of people, and they came for the right reasons.” The recording process brought together diverse artists, with the oldest being 83-year-old Tony Bennett and the youngest being 9-year-old Ethan Bortnick.
“We Are the World 25 for Haiti” debuted within the top 30 in multiple territories. “We Are the World 25 for Haiti” charted at number 27 on the Spanish Singles Chart on the charts. The song debuted at number 17 in New Zealand on the charts. “We Are the World 25 for Haiti” peaked within the top five, charting at number three in Norway on the charts; the chart’s position is currently the song’s highest charting international territory since its release. The song debuted at number 25 in France.
“We Are the World 25 for Haiti” charted at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, behind Kesha’s “Tik Tok”. “We Are the World 25 for Haiti” charted higher in its debut week than the original version, which entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 21. According to Billboard, the song’s charting position stemmed mainly from download sales, with a reported 96% of the song’s charting being from such sales. Following the song’s debut during the Olympics, 246 radio stations sampled the song in the United States. Radio stations in New York expressed that they would play the song frequently to raise awareness of Haitian citizens in need. Other radio stations throughout the United States echoed similar responses on the song getting airplay.
The song also sold over 267,000 downloads in three days. “We Are the World 25 for Haiti” debuted at number eight on the Canadian Hot 100. The song also debuted at number six in Belgium Wallonia and Flanders, as well at debuting at number 17 in Sweden. The song also charted at number 28 in Denmark. The song entered Irish charts at number nine. In the song’s second week of release in Norway, “We Are the World 25 for Haiti” moved up two spaces, topping the chart. Unlike the song’s chart performance in territories like Norway, the song dropped four places on the Billboard Hot 100 to sixth place and stayed in the charts for only five weeks more.