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Stars gather for 'We Are the World' recording

By Alan Duke, CNN
Lionel Richie, who co-wrote the first song with Michael Jackson, is organizing the re-recording.
Lionel Richie, who co-wrote the first song with Michael Jackson, is organizing the re-recording.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lyrics, music updated from African humanitarian-inspired song from 25 years ago
  • CNN confirms Usher, Carrie Underwood, Fergie, Jason Mraz among singers
  • The original producer, Quincy Jones, is using the same studio he used in 1985

Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- Dozens of recording stars converged on a Hollywood studio on Monday evening to add their voices to a song they hope will raise millions of dollars for Haitian earthquake relief.

The lyrics and music are an updated version of "We Are the World," a song that raised at least $30 millions for African humanitarian programs 25 years ago.

Music legends -- including crooner Tony Bennett and Barbra Streisand -- stood with newcomers -- including 15-year-old Justin Bieber and country artist Zac Brown -- in the crowded studio Monday night.

Lionel Richie and the original producer, Quincy Jones, gathered "a diverse group of contemporary superstar artists" at the same studio used for the 1985 recording session," organizers said in a news release. Richie co-wrote the first song with Michael Jackson.

The production team includes producer-musician Wyclef Jean, producer RedOne and producer-musical director Ricky Minor, the statement said.

The world premiere of the new "We Are the World" will take place during the NBC network's coverage of the Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Vancouver, Canada, on February 12, it said.

Video: 'We are the World' update
RELATED TOPICS
  • Music
  • Quincy Jones
  • Michael Jackson
  • Lionel Richie
  • Haiti

Paparazzi and security surrounded Henson Studios, just off Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard, as limousines delivered the stars Monday for what was expected to be a marathon overnight recording session.

Smokey Robinson, who sang on the original, said the roster of 100 singers asked to take part does not include any of the 45 stars from the previous version.

Legendary crooner Tony Bennett and Beach Boy original Brian Wilson were among those seen entering the studio Monday evening.

Many of the stars were already in Los Angeles to attend Sunday's Grammy Awards show.

The original 1985 roster of artists was packed with such superstars that Jones placed a sign above the studio door that read: "Check your egos at the door."

The roster of artists made public by organizers includes: Carlos Santana, Orianthi, Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx, Sugarland, Adam Levine, Jason Mraz, Earth Wind & Fire, Natalie Cole, The Jonas Brothers, T-Pain, Brian Wilson, Justin Bieber, Nicole Scherzinger, India.Arie, Julianne Hough, Mary Mary, Melanie Fiona, BeBe Winans, Mya, Tyrese Gibson, Anthony Hamilton, Raphael Saadiq, Gladys Knight, Keri Hilson, Joel and Benji Madden, Heart, Brandy, Pink, Musiq Soulchild, Miley Cyrus, Akon, Jordin Sparks, Celine Dion, Rob Thomas, Katharine McPhee, Jeff Bridges, Randy Jackson, Patti Austin, Kid CuDi, Usher, Will.i.am, Kanye West, LL Cool J, Issac Slade (of The Fray), Snoop Dogg, Nicole Richie, Trey Songz, Ethan Bortnick, Taryll Jackson, Taj Jackson, TJ Jackson, Vince Vaughn, Drake, Freda Payne, Faith Evans, Robin Thicke, Rashida Jones, Barbra Streisand, Jimmy Jean Louis, Enrique Iglesias, Zac Brown, Lil Wayne, Tony Bennett, Josh Groban, Sean Garrett, Harry Connick Jr., Al Jardine, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony (Bizzy Bone) and A.R.Rahman

CNN's Denise Quan contributed to this report.

 
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