Here are Five Charity Songs that Sucked for the 28th Anniversary of "We Are the World"
"We Are the World," Artists for Haiti
Haiti apparently was a great uniter and a shining inspiration for bad rehashes of songs. For the 25th anniversary of the original "We Are the World," Lionel Richie and Quincy Jones gathered more than eighty musical celebrities (I hesitate to call them all "singers") for a reworked single that would aid Haiti relief. Because the men wanted the younger generation to take up their burden of saving the world, Justin Bieber led the group, along with Nicole "Sluttiest Pussycat Doll Ever" Scherzinger, Josh Groban, an autotuned Lil Wayne and our favorite siren Miley, who cares about everything everywhere. But the fun didn't end there! This little ditty also brought us a horrible new rap, incomprehensible weird shit from Wyclef Jean and a creepy Michael/Janet duet thanks to "video magic." At least Jamie Foxx did a sweet Ray Charles impression.
"Just Stand Up!" Artists Stand Up to Cancer (live version)
I'm all for girl power, I swear. I believed in the Spice Girls' mantras during the '90s and read Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, so I'm quite in touch with the power of the vagina. However, this live version of "Just Stand Up" was an abomination. "But how can a song that features Beyonce, Carrie Underwood and Mary J. Blige be bad?" you ask. Because it was missing Melissa Etheridge, Sheryl Crow and LeAnn Rimes, who provided heart on the studio version and wisely stayed home when it came time to perform on live TV in 2008. It's great that the Entertainment Industry Foundation established Stand Up to Cancer to raise funds and awareness for disease research, but this single was the pits. Even Miley-effing-Cyrus couldn't help it.
If all of these songs are considered lame, then what should a post-'80s charity single sound like? Elton John had a nice run of them, with his rehashed versions of "Candle in the Wind" (for the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund) and "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" (a duet with George Michael, for children's, education and AIDS charities). Both of St. Louis' own Songs for Joplin collections also feature good songs that don't overreach in the name of charity. However...