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Artists For Haiti

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On January 12, 2010, at 21:53 UTC, (4:53 pm local time) Haiti was struck by a magnitude-7.0 earthquake, the country’s most severe earthquake in over 200 years. The epicenter of the quake was just outside the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince. It has been estimated that the death toll could reach 200,000. Widespread damage resulted from the quake. The capital city was devastated.

Before the earthquake, Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie had planned to organize a re-recording of “We Are the World” on January 28, 2010 — the 25th anniversary of the original recording of the song. However, because of the devastation caused in Haiti, these plans were postponed. The new version of the song was recorded on February 1, 2010. Over 75 musicians were involved in the recording, which was held in the same place as the original. 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. The new version features updated lyrics and music, as well as a rap segment pertaining to Haiti. Lionel Richie and Quincy Jones revealed that Michael Jackson’s younger sister Janet duets with her late brother, as per a request from their mother Katherine Jackson.

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