How old are you?
Never mind, that's a rude question.
Are you old enough to remember 25 years ago?
25 years ago, I was--25 years younger. And, if memory serves there was a great famine that affected most of the continent of Africa. To help those poor people, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie** wrote a song called We are the World. They,and producer Quincy Jones gathered together some of the most popular recording artists of the time. Remember Cyndi Lauper? Tina Turner? Kenny Loggins? Bruce Springstein? And dozens of others. The song became hugely popular, raised tons of money and spawned other songs and concerts that raised money for various causes (Farmaid, anyone?)
You'd have to be living under a rock to not know that Michael Jackson is no longer with us. But his partners Richie and Jones had decided to do 25th anniversary video of We are the World. They were scheduled to do so on January 28, 2010. In the interim the earthquake in Haiti happened causing unspeakable loss of life and damage to that already poverty-stricken country.
And so was born We are the World 25 for Haiti.
And I love it.
There are lots of performers in the video. A number of them I don't know. But you'll be surprised (and my kids were, too) that besides recognizing Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennet, Celine Dion and Natalie Cole, I also recognized Jennifer Hudson, Pink, Usher, Fergie, LL Cool J, Will.i.am and Snoop Dogg, among others. Oh yes, and Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers. (And I actually know who Lady Gaga is even though she wasn't in the video).
My two favorite parts of the video were when they used the footage from the old version of Michael Jackson singing the refrain; he is joined by his sister Janet. And toward the end of the video Jamie Foxx does his Stevie Wonder imitation (Wonder was also in the original video).
All that being said, it's weird to me that I remember so vividly (well, more or less) that time in my life when the first version was so popular. Since that time, I got my bachelor's, two+ master's, got married, bought a house, had three children, developed my career, dealt with a couple of medical and financial crises, sold my house, moved to Israel, bought another one.
I can't fathom all of this. I still feel like that--very young woman of 25 years ago. I don't know enough to have been through all of that.
It's all happening to fast.
Yeah, well, in the meantime, here's the new video. Enjoy it, let the memories wash over you. Two points for those of you who can identify Will.i.am and Snoop Dogg. And Enrique Iglesias.
Haveil Havalim is up at Batya's place. Check it out.
**Please accept my apologies for not linking all these celebrities. If you google them, you'll find plenty of information.
The Stuff That Lasts, Part Deux
6 months ago