Archive for Monday, May 17, 2004

Musicians rock for relief

We Are the Future’ concert to benefit children in war zones

May 17, 2004

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— Nearly two decades after music greats gathered to record the hit song "We are the World" to benefit Africa's hungry, a new generation of stars came together Sunday for a follow-up concert to benefit children in war zones.

The "We are the Future" concert, which started as the sun set over Rome's Circus Maximus, got off to a heart-pounding start with a performance by the garbage can-clanging percussion group Stomp.

Musicians Alicia Keys, Norah Jones, Andrea Bocelli and Eve performed over the course of the evening. Oprah Winfrey, Muhammad Ali, Angelina Jolie, model Naomi Campbell and tennis star Serena Williams also appeared.

Quincy Jones, who produced the 1985 "We are the World" recording that featured Michael Jackson, Lionel Ritchie and Bob Dylan, organized Sunday's four-hour concert, which will raise money for child-care centers in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Rwanda and the West Bank.

The concert was free, but proceeds from broadcast rights, donations and related sales will fund the centers. The concert was broadcast live on MTV in Italy and a shorter version will air later in other MTV markets.

A DVD, book and live recording of the concert are expected to go on sale. The recording will feature a new song, "We are the Future," written and produced by Quincy Jones.

The "We are the World" single, which was recorded by 43 artists in a Los Angeles studio after the American Music Awards in January 1985, became an instant international hit, playing on radio stations and MTV.

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