Hear Simon Cowell's Haiti benefit single, 'Everybody Hurts': Miley, Mariah, Susan Boyle, and more sing the R.E.M. classic

He may kill dreams weekly on Idol, but there is a good heart beating beneath the grinch-y proclamations and shrink-wrapped black t-shirts of Mr. Simon Cowell.

The man used his bi-contintental power to gather an all-star cast on “Everybody Hurts,” a largely faithful cover of R.E.M.’s beloved 1993 ballad. Among the stars who appear below: Leona Lewis, Mariah Carey, Miley Cyrus, Jon Bon Jovi, Rod Stewart, Kylie Minogue, Mika, Michael Buble, James Blunt and several names that will probably resonate much more with readers whose wallets are full of Euros, not dollars (Gary Barlow, Cheryl Cole, Westlife):

Either way, you can still give in the spirit of the cause to Cowell’s designated charity here, or to any number of respected institutions. In the meantime, tell us which of the current charity projects—including the A-list overflow “We Are the World,” various live benefits and Dave Matthews’ new EP—you’re most enjoying; not just for the do-goodery, but for their own sake.

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
“We Are the World” for Haiti benefit features Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Kanye West, Justin Bieber…
Taylor swift collaborator Butch Walker on their much-discussed Grammy performance
Lady Gaga and Elton John: What did you think?
Taylor Swift and Stevie Nicks’ Grammy duet: out of sight, or out of tune?
Grammys pay tribute to Michael Jackson with help from his kids: A fitting salute?
Grammys: the complete list of winners

Comments (33 total) Add your comment
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  • crispy

    That list of singers is what I imagine Hell must be like.

    • Hutchy

      ROFL this is truly one of the most laughable things I’ve ever heard of. If I was a Haitian who had seen horrible depravity and hardship over the past month, and some rich well fed Euro pop star walked up to me and said “Hey everybody hurts……sometimes….just hold onnnnn!!!!” I would have to reply “Dude, I wanna hold on to a friggin BURGER!!! Wheres some FOOD, bro???”

    • paige

      lol omg crisp… to quote rod stewart (lol) “have i told you lately… that i looove you”

  • tessa

    I agree with Crispy and I would also like to add—-WTF R.E.M???????!!!!!!!! Why would you give away your song like that???? To a bunch of hacks who are in it just for the money. It’s insane that that’s what it’s come to in the music industry!!! Somebody knock Michael Stipe on the head and try to knock some sense into him!!!!!!!!

    • Daniel

      Kinda disagree. I, too, was somewhat affronted by this, but it is for charity, and I’m sure REM agree with the cause. Further, Rod Stewart, Shania, Mariah, … they don’t need money.

    • Nat

      I do agree that they’re hacks…but they’re obviously not doing it for money, it’s a charity single :P I’d say most of them are doing it for the attention and to put across a representation of themselves as being giving more than anything else.

    • Annie

      What a shower of moaning, begrudging F–k-rs you are.This is for charity and these people are using their talent to help. What the F–k are you doing!!

  • Chichi

    Everybody will hurt if they listen to this dreck.

  • Whah?

    What is wrong with you people? First, it doesn’t sound like “dreck,” and it’s for a good cause. Oh, how terrible: People who really need the money and a helping hand may benefit. Why would anyone be “affronted” by this? Such cynics.

    • James

      Agreed. I think this is actually brilliant on Simon’s part.

      • Robin

        THANK YOU! I don’t understand why some people have to put down others, especially when they are coming together to help the Haitians. Thanks for your comment!

  • Nahara

    I have no issue with the singers (well, the ones that I know), but I do have issues with the song. I love the song…by REM. Here it just sounds like they are saying “well, everyone goes through this, so suck it up”.

    • jb

      agreed. i actually just wrote a comment right after you did, nahara.

      • Nahara

        Thanks, jb, good to know it’s not just me. :-)

  • jb

    I might be hearing this wrong, but the song sounds like it’s saying “Hey, we all go through hard times, just like you, but things will get better.”

    Is comparing other people’s hardships to those in Haiti right now really appropriate?

    Or am I just hearing the song wrong? Anyone? Anyone?

    • World Traveler

      I’ll have to correct you on that. The context is that everybody is hurting for Haiti, because we’re all human beings on this earth. I commend this charity effort and the artists that are volunteering their voices. However, unfortunately they don’t sound too good. All these different voices just don’t mesh well together, IMO.

  • Holly

    A bunch of hacks who are just in it for the money. Are you freaking kidding me they’re doing it for the Haiti relief fund, which means they’re doing it for free with 100% of the proceeds going to it.

  • jfms777

    It seems strange we did not hear about such a “gathering” given that the media has overblown the “We are the world” gathering. I wonder if artists recorded their tracks separately and producers just overlaid them together. Would not be hard to do.

    • Christy

      About half of them recorded on the same day, but individually. The British press reported pretty extensively on it – in particular Susan Boyle entertaining the waiting singers with her moonwalking. :)

  • Phil

    To everyone making negative comments here…the word went out about Simon Cowell’s charity cover of this R.E.M. tune like the same week as the Haiti telethon, THE reason is wasn’t fully reported in the U.s. and promoted is because there is STILL no word if U.S residents will be able to purchase the charity track via the U.S. itunes store, since not only were they a big part of the Hope For Haiti telethon, but also because mostly U.S. singers (with exception of Miley Cyrus being on both covers) were asked to be on the new version of “We Are The World” which of course EW reported about being recorded yesterday, the day after the Grammys when most of the superstars were in L.A. (ya know the popular winter wonderland getaway, when they don’t have to freeze through East Coast winters, K?) Everyone here needs to step up and stop acting like children complaining they ran out of milk in their cereal. crispy…I don’t ever single you out, but you single handedly started this parade of hate based on a charity single. If you stuck around long enough to listen to the Radio 1 DJ’s words immediately after the recordings debut, he clearly says, “don’t matter what you think of it, its for charity.” PLAIN & SIMPLE.

  • L

    I’d like to hear that the Simon and these artists also donate their earnings from their own – inevitably increased – record sales through the duration of the sale of the charity single.

  • Rico

    I really like the “everybody hurts” song better than the “we are the world” new Haiti version. I would have like the “we are the world” version, but the song has too much Wyclef which is not a good thing! He takes away from the song, which is a shame because I would have purchased but for his involvment. I know Haiti is his country but he just turns me off. I applaud Simon and his version of Everybody Hurts is a lot better than the original.

  • Christy

    Wow, some people on here are horrible. It’s for charity. Every single cent will go to Haiti, Simon has said. Get a grip. Some of you should be ashamed at your rude, cynical response. Disgusting.

  • B. Robert

    For those who feel better complaining! I think you’re all a bunch of crazy complainers. Why don’t you just hope it will do some good and positive happenings to raise help for the terrible disaster that effects Haiti and its people? The evil that beholds within some people is absolutely despicable.

  • Jean R

    I think the sentiment is that we all hurt for the people of Haiti. If it earns money to help rebuild Haiti, it’s a good thing. Thanks to Simon and the artists.

  • Mike Rowe

    The people singing on here are there because the public like them. Get a grip people. For theose of you who think this is opportunistic on behalf of the artists you are so cynical. They we all asked to take part. I think it is beautiful and heart felt. Great to har Susan Boyle in the mix of all these talented people. She sounds haunting and beautiful.

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