Tonight's 'We Are the World' update: Watch footage from inside the recording here!

The Haiti-benefiting 25th anniversary remake of “We Are the World” sung by half the music business on the day after this year’s Grammys is set to premiere during tonight’s Winter Olympics opening ceremonies, at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT (6:30 CT). MTV News has some preview footage from inside the recording session:

My favorite part of that clip is teensy little Justin Bieber intently reading a lyrics sheet as he sings the opening lines. (I’m not sure his parents were even born yet when the original version hit the airwaves waaaaay back in 1985, so I’ll give him a pass on not knowing them by heart.)

Since I was on the scene for much of this momentous afternoon, I’ve already gotten more than my share of this updated tune — but what do you think of this snippet, Mixers? Do you like the polish RedOne gave the track? How do you feel about the fancy new syncopation on the chorus? Does Vince Vaughn = Dan Aykroyd? And do any of these soloists match the brilliance of Springsteen’s “Weee are the wrrrrrrrrld” constipation, Cyndi Lauper’s freaky “whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa”s or Huey Lewis’s deeply inspirational take on “But if you just believe / there’s no way we can fall?” (Short answer from this child of the ’80s: impossible.)

Original after the jump, as a refresher. Meanwhile, who’s got plans to tune in?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
John Mayer is very sorry about his explicit sexual and racial comments; do you believe him?
Janelle Monae walks a funky ‘Tightrope’ with Big Boi
Sugarland’s new Olympic single goes for the gold: Watch an exclusive preview here!
Linkin Park’s stark Haiti video: Watch ‘Not Alone’ here


Comments (16 total) Add your comment
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  • Bobby’s Robot

    Cyndi Lauper’s “whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa”s were my favorite part of the original.

  • Sarah

    I will be watching now. Sweet graphics at the beginning of the original!

  • Kate

    I will pretty much only be watching this (thanks for the heads up as to the approximate time)

  • Jenn

    This child of the 80s has to agree: nothing beats the original. That’s a completely biased opinion, of course.

    But OMG, Vince Vaughn TOTALLY = Dan Aykroyd!

  • walter

    I think it needs more cowbell.

    • Jen

      This.

  • Sally in Chicago

    Reportedly Jay-z told Quincy, not to remake the original. To let the original stay. And I agree. Maybe a new song for Haiti? But there are SO MANY songs for Haiti out there.
    I’m old school. I like the original and the singers just seem to be more emotionally into the song.

  • Thad

    Akon is a joke. Should have been a different song. Let the original stand strong

  • elyheartsJBiebs

    i just saw it on t.v and it was so awesomr i only saw because justin was in it!!!!

  • Jen

    Jay-Z was right. This remake was the suck. Bieber? Awful.

  • jehnea

    the original has always been the best and one of my favorite micheal jackson songs and was not one of those people who grew up wit micheal but i reallt admire him and he will be strongly miss by all no matter what mistakes he made because like the songs say we are the we are the ones who make a better day thiers a choice were making and were saving our own lives which is so so true
    REST.IN.PEACE.MICHEAL.AND.WE.LOVE.YOU

  • Queen Lupe

    The Original was a Who’s who of music..The remake, with a few exceptions is a “Who’s that?” of music

  • Doreen Totton

    I’m sorry, but nothing beats the original We Are The world. The song should have been left alone,not redone. Soneone should have written an intirely new song altogether for the cause.

  • michael

    the remake was a disaster.
    jay-z was spot on…..i am though happy that the proceeds went to help Haiti

  • Gator

    Worthwhile effort, good variety of musical styles, and certainly a good cause, but NOTHING can top the original! Bruce, Stevie, MJ, Cyndi Lauper, Steve Perry, Diana Ross – That is what SINGING sounds like.

  • John Machamer

    Remember how you felt when Elton John stole “Candle in the Wind” from Marylin Monroe? That’s what it feels like. Jay Z is right..be original.

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