Rolla's x Sofia Richie Launch Event
Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Rolla's

Lionel Richie Speaks On Possible Remake Of “We Are The World” To Support COVID-19 Relief

The charity recording was released 35 years ago.

Lionel Richie is proposing a remake of 1985’s global hit “We Are the World.” The melody—that received vocal participation from Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Ray Charles, Dionne Warwick and more in support of relief efforts to fight Ethiopia's famine crisis at the time as well as other countries stricken by food shortages—was a feat Richie hopes to assemble again in the face of the COVID-19 virus.

In a statement provided to PEOPLE, the “All Night Long” singer amplified the sentiment that the world needs to operate on one accord to help battle this pandemic. “What happened in China, in Europe, it came here,” Richie said. “So if we don’t save our brothers there, it’s going to come home. It’s all of us. All of us are in this together.” The famed musician continued to state that while talks about the song’s anniversary and promoting that was a thought, similar to how it was revamped in 2010 to support earthquake relief efforts in Haiti, Richie noted “we said we didn’t want to do too much [about the song] because this is not the time to sell an anniversary.”

The 70-year-old also attempted to re-write the melody, but “those same words”  (“There’s a choice we’re making, we’re saving our own lives") always came to mind when he tried to land on a new message. “We Are The World” was released on March 8, 1985 as part of a compilation album of the same name, with the proceeds benefiting a foundation founded by activist Harry Belafonte, United Support of Artists for Africa (USA For Africa). The meldoy was produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian, and co-written between Richie and Michael Jackson. The multi-platinum song topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and won four Grammy Awards in 1986 (Song of the Year, Best Music Video, Record of the Year, Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.)

This isn’t the first time a supergroup of artists gathered to fight national disasters or diseases through music. In 2001, Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” song was used as a template for groups like Destiny’s Child, *NSYNC, The Backstreet Boys, and solo artists from Britney Spears, Nelly Furtado to Nas, Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys, and Nelly plus more to help fight the spread of AIDS. Organizations like Artists Against AIDS Worldwide and the Global AIDS Alliance were able to allocate funds to fight the disease in countries in Africa and other parts of the world where medicine and healthcare units are under-funded and ill-equipped.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Tom Fox

Amber Guyger Appeals Murder Conviction In Botham Jean Case

Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger has appealed her murder conviction this week in an effort to receive a shorter sentence, the Star-Telegram reported on Friday (Aug. 7). Guyger is currently serving a 10-year-sentence for fatally shooting Botham Jean inside his apartment in 2018.

Attorneys for Guyger claim that there was insufficient evidence to warrant a conviction. The legal documents reportedly want the murder conviction tossed, or changed to criminally negligent homicide.

“I feel like she received a slap on the wrist for taking my brother’s life,” Botham Jean’s sister Allis Findley. “This tells me that she feels like she didn’t do anything wrong. She did not step on my brother’s toe. She took his life.”

Guyger was found guilty on Oct. 1. She maintains that she entered Jean’s apartment believing that it was her own. Guyger testified that she shot Jean believing that he was an intruder.

“She should have received life, so she should take her 10 years in prison and shut up,” added Findley. “If the court was to do this it would prove that, yes, there is systematic racism and white privilege does prevail over Black life. I’m hoping this appeal gets thrown out and her conviction holds. I’m hoping they overturn the 10 years and give her life instead.”

Continue Reading
Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Oprah Winfrey Puts Up 26 Billboards Demanding Justice For Breonna Taylor

Oprah Winfrey and the team at O, The Oprah Magazine, erected 26 billboards demanding the arrest of the cops who killed Breonna Taylor. The billboards went up all around Louisville, Kentucky, on Thursday (Aug. 6).

“Demand that the police involved in killing Breonna Taylor be arrested an charged,” the billboards reads. The billboard encourages people to visit UntilFreedom.com (the organization co-founded by Tamika D. Mallory, Mysonne Linen, Angela Pintom and Linda Sarsoir) and includes a quote from Oprah, “If you turn a blind eye to racism, you become an accomplice to it.”

🚨Billboard Alert🚨

26 billboards - for every year of life of #BreonnaTaylor erected in Louisville, KY.

Kentucky will not forget her name. We will get justice for Breonna. pic.twitter.com/rOM2bhVdAy

— untilfreedom (@untilfreedom) August 6, 2020

A drawing of Taylor also covers the Sept. 2020 edition of O Magazine, marking the first time that Winfrey wasn’t the publication’s covergirl. Winfrey decided to use the magazine’s 20th anniversary cover to amplify Taylor’s story.

On March 13, Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was shot to death by former and current Louisville police officers Jonathon Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove. None of them have been charged in her murder.

“She was just like me. She was just like you,” Winfrey wrote on Instagram. “And like everyone who dies unexpectedly, she had plans. Plans for a future filled with responsibility and work and friends and laughter. I think about Breonna Taylor often.

“The September issue honors her life and the life of every other Black woman whose life has been taken too soon.”

See the cover below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Breonna Taylor. She was just like me. She was just like you. And like everyone who dies unexpectedly, she had plans. Plans for a future filled with responsibility and work and friends and laughter. I think about Breonna Taylor often. Imagine if three unidentified men burst into your home while you were sleeping. And your partner fired a gun to protect you. And then mayhem. What I know for sure: We can’t be silent. We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice. And that is why Breonna Taylor is on the cover of @oprahmagazine. The September issue honors her life and the life of every other Black woman whose life has been taken too soon. Head to OprahMag.com for more—and thank you to @alexis_art, a 24-year-old digital artist, who captured the essence of Breonna. The issue will be available wherever you buy or download magazines on 8/11.

A post shared by Oprah (@oprah) on Jul 30, 2020 at 5:32am PDT

Continue Reading
Prince Williams/WireImage

Watch The Moment T.I. Learns He’s Going To Be A Grandfather

Congratulations are in order for T.I.’s stepdaughter, Zonnique. The singer is expecting her first child with boyfriend and rapper, Bandhunta Izzy (a.k.a Isreal James).

Zonnique, who will be welcoming a daughter with Izzy, surprised Tip with the baby news during an episode of her Fox Soul show The Mix on Wednesday (Aug. 6).

Needless to say, Tip was shocked. So much so, that it took him a minute to actually process the announcement, even after his wife, Tiny, confirmed that they weren’t pranking him.

Zonnique broke the pregnancy news to PEOPLE earlier in the week, and opened up about the drawbacks of being pregnant during a pandemic.  “It really sucks being pregnant during the coronavirus,” she admitted. “At first, I'm like, 'This is the perfect time, like everybody is locked in. I don't have to worry about going out. So if I want to hide it for however long, I can hide.'

“But when it comes to going to doctor's appointments, I go to all of them by myself. I ask every single time, 'Can I bring my boyfriend?' And they're like, 'No, only you can come.' That's been the worst part," she added.

“I'm hoping by the time I'm ready to have the baby it will be over with. But I'm sure it won't be, so I'll be in there with one person, most likely. I'm just trying not to get my hopes too high anymore.”

Peep the video below to see Tip's hilarious reaction to learning that he's going to be a grandfather.

Continue Reading

Top Stories