Timbaland has been enlisted by the YouthAIDS organization to update the 1985 all-star charity classic "We Are the World." The producer (a.k.a. Tim Moseley) will work with his longtime partner Missy Elliott and Justin Timberlake to write "The World Is Ours: AIDS Anthem," a song due next year that will raise money for worldwide AIDS treatment and awareness programs.
"I see this as a passing of the torch," Timbaland said. "I will use the legendary model of 'We Are the World,' but update it in a way that works for the trends of the music industry today. Just as Quincy Jones, Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson did twenty years ago, we will create an anthem with today's most talented artists to produce a song that will bring the world's attention to the AIDS pandemic."
Organizers plan to put together the lineup for the song during the remainder of 2003, and enter a studio to record it early next year. The song will be released on Timbaland's Beat Club Records and distributed by Interscope. VH1 is also sponsoring the recording and will air a television special on its creation. An accompanying DVD will be produced by QD3, Quincy Jones' son, and further tying the current event to its predecessor of nearly two decades ago.
Despite tireless campaigning for AIDS relief in Africa, Jones had avoided reprising his iconic song ("I hate to do the same thing twice," he told Rolling Stone), but he has given the project his blessing. "Africa is in a crisis situation," he said. "It's really scary. One out of every five five-year-olds has a chance of living. It would tear your heart out."
In addition to Africa, the single would provide money to HIV/AIDS prevention programs in more than seventy other nations worldwide. More information is available at youthaids.org.