It’s frustrating when texting “Haiti” to 90999 is the best most of us can do to counter the overwhelming devastation in that country, but that’s a reflection both of our limited day-to-day resources and the real need there for complete social regeneration. Strange, sad times. And in times like these we’re not gonna goof on artists coming together to cover R.E.M.’s strikingly apropos “Everybody Hurts.” We’re just gonna give props to the fact that it’s happening at all. So we have here a listen of a bunch of people you’ve maybe heard of covering a band you’ve definitely heard of, in the UK, in order to bring money and relief to Haiti. In order of appearance: Leona Lewis, Rod Stewart, Mariah Carey, Cheryl Cole, Mika, Michael Buble, Joe McElderry, Miley Cyrus, James Blunt, Gary Barlow, Mark Owen, Jon Bon Jovi, James Morrison, Susan Boyle, Aston Merrygold, Marvin Humes, Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Kylie Minogue, Robbie Williams. Track’s on sale on Sunday. OK.
A bit closer to home on the artistic relief front: There’s a remake of “We Are The World” on its way, recorded at the same space as the original. That song is 25 years old! Which is nuts. So is that picture by Kevin Mazur for Wireimages, which should tell you a lot about who’s involved in that project (and that they want Vince Vaughn as far away from the mic as possible). Here’s a list:
Pink, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Jamie Foxx, Nick Jonas, LL Cool J, Robin Thicke, Celine Dion, Akon, Rob Thomas, Wyclef Jean, Jeff Bridges, Vince Vaughn, Barbara Streisand, Jordin Sparks, the Madden brothers from Good Charlotte, Tony Bennett, Josh Groban, Justin Bieber, Keri Hilson, Tyrese, Katharine McPhee, Sean Garrett, will.i.am., Carlos Santana, Melanie Fiona, Enrique Iglesias, Toni Braxton, Jason Mraz, Miley Cyrus, Busta Rhymes, Nicole Scherzinger, Nicole Richie, Usher, Julianna Hough, Raphael Saadiq, Zac Brown, India.Arie, Randy Jackson, Musiq Soulchild, Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, Fonzworth Bentley, Kid Cudi, Iyaz, Bizzy Bone, Nipsey Hussle, Brian Wilson and Al Jardine, Trey Songz, Faith Evans, May, Gladys Knight. That’s not even the full list, which is here. Weezy’s doing the Dylan part! Maybe Kanye will bring it like Cyndi Lauper. Proceeds from that single, spearheaded by original “We Are The World” masterminds Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie, will go to the “newly formed charity We Are The World Foundation LLC, and then be distributed to Haiti.” It’ll premiere during the Olympics opening ceremony.
Here’s a preview that proves that pic wasn’t a photoshop job.
While you wait for it in full, here’s that “Everybody Hurts” by everybody. Email it your friends who love Kylie Minogue. Or your mom.
For a slightly less mom-friendly version of the song, take Meat Puppets’ take from Drive XV, Stereogum’s tribute to R.E.M.’s Automatic For The People:
Or, of course, the original.