Music producers Quincy Jones and Jermaine Dupri say the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia has prompted them to postpone recording “We Are the Future,” an update of the 1985 benefit song “We Are the World.”
“The timing is not right for us to record a song about the future when so many people have lost their lives,” Dupri said in a statement Tuesday.
Jones and Dupri had planned to record the new song on Feb. 14 as an afterparty/recording session following the Grammy Awards, which will be presented Feb. 13 in Los Angeles.
“We Are the World” was recorded by 43 artists in a Los Angeles studio after the American Music Awards ceremony in January 1985. The song to benefit Africa’s hungry became an instant and international hit, playing incessantly on radio stations and MTV.
Proceeds from the new song will go to help children in war zones, particularly in areas such as Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan, said Jones’ publicist, Arnold Robinson. He emphasized that while helping these children remains atop Jones’ agenda, tsunami relief takes precedence for now.
“There’s obviously an immediate need there right now,” Robinson said. “Thankfully, everybody is being very giving at this point and time.”
Dupri told Rolling Stone magazine last month that he hoped to recruit Jay-Z, Usher and Kanye West for the new song, but Robinson wouldn’t comment on who might participate now that the recording is being rescheduled.
A new date should be set within the next year, Robinson said.
“We Are the World,” which was produced by Jones, featured some of the music industry’s heaviest hitters, including Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan.