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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.

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Mannie Fresh And Scott Storch Go Toe-To-Toe In Instagram Live Battle

Mannie Fresh and Scott Storch went up against each other on Wednesday (April 1), for the latest Instagram Live competition commissioned by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland.

Fresh and Storch each played 20 of the many hits in their respective catalogs which included, Juvenile’s “Back That A** Up,” Mary J. Blige’s “No More Drama,” “Still Fly” by the Big Tymers, Lil Wayne’s “Go DJ,” “Lean Back” by Fat Joe featuring Remy Ma, Beyonce’s “Naughty Girl,” “Baby Boy” and “Me Myself,” 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop,” Dr. Dre’s “Still D.R.E.,” and B.G.’s “Bling Bling” featuring Big Tymers and the Hot Boyz.

More than 200,000 viewers signed on to watch the epic battle, and although Swizz declared Storch the winner, the internet is still debating over which producer came out victorious. Either way though, the true winners were the fans.

 

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Score card from the people !! Thank you @scottstorchofficial & @manniefresh for doing it for the people at home aka the culture ! We also hit 202k tonight VERZUZ !!! Scott won tonight but so did the culture ! @timbaland it’s a wrap 🙌🏽

A post shared by No Breaks In 2020 (@therealswizzz) on Apr 1, 2020 at 7:38pm PDT

Storch versatility is too crazy, and he had hit after hit after hit. But Mannie legit created a sound for one of the most influential record labels ever. A sound. Like “Rich N’s” off 400 Degreez never made the top of the charts, but that’s a bonafide classic record.

— Justin Tinsley (@JustinTinsley) April 2, 2020

Other than like 2-3 songs, Mannie played music from one label. One label! Cash Money Records. One of the greatest record labels of all time, any genre. What a run.

— Andrew Barber (@fakeshoredrive) April 2, 2020

Back That Azz Up is a negro spiritual and because of that, the ancestors are PROUD. We salute the legend, Mannie Fresh.

— Maura Chanz (@maurachanz) April 2, 2020

SCOTT STORCH JUST HUMBLY WASHED MANNIE FRESH THIS ENTIRE BATTLE!!!!

His Range Is Too Elite For Mannie

— DJ First Class™ 🏁 (@1DJFirstClass) April 2, 2020

Nobody ever got ass thrown on em to still DRE.. mannie won to me 😂

— Le$ 🥩x🦐™ (@SteakxShrimp) April 2, 2020

Scott won.... Mannie fucked around with some bullshit too many times https://t.co/m1Em2C3XjW

— Kojo Ebro (@oldmanebro) April 2, 2020

The digital fracas was of course all in good fun as both sides complimented each other, and vowed to work together. Scott also plugged his forthcoming album and teased a new single with Ozuna and Tyga. Mannie promoted his “Virus Killaz” DJ live stream mix and Sunday gospel mix.

“After this, let’s get together and change the world,” Fresh told Storch. “There is no harm in this. We will love each other as brothers….We love you and your crew.”

T-Pain and Lil Jon are apparently next in line for an Instagram live music bout scheduled for Saturday (April 4) at 9 p.m. EST.

In the meantime, peep a snippet from the tonight's battle below.

Y’all wanna see a dead body.... Scott Storch Won. pic.twitter.com/30rm8DaWjQ

— The Academy Music Business (@BenjaminEnfield) April 2, 2020

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Al Sharpton Calls On Black Churches To Cancel In-Person Services Amid Pandemic

With Easter and Palm Sunday coming up soon, Rev. Al Sharpton called leaders of the nation’s largest historically Black churches, and other faith leaders, to urge them not to hold in-person services during the global pandemic.

In a video conference call on Wednesday (April 1), Sharpton spoke with several Black church leaders about discontinuing “services that are not online.” The conference call was fueled in part by a Louisiana megachurch pastor being arrested for holding a church service and a funeral over the last week.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Pastor Tony Spell of Life Tabernacle Church, was charged with six counts of disobeying power of government after holding a funeral last week with more than 100 mourners, and a church service on Tuesday (March 31) evening.

I convened a call with the heads of the nation’s largest historically Black religious denominations & other faith leaders to call on clergy to refrain from having church services as we head into Palm Sunday and Easter Holy Week. pic.twitter.com/TygPkhTD0g

— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) April 1, 2020

Spell “willfully” violated the “local coronavirus stay-at-home order,” Sharpton reportedly said on Wednesday.

“I have been arrested over thirty times for civil rights & civil disobedience — twice for ninety days & another forty-five days for standing up for people’s civil and human rights,” Sharpton tweeted. “These separate incidents involving leaders of faith putting people’s lives in danger is not a matter of civil or human rights, nor is it a testament of faith.”

Florida megachurch pastor Rodney Howard-Browne was also arrested for holding two church services this past Sunday (March 29). Following his arrest, Howard-Browne said that he had no choice but to temporarily shut the church down. “I have to do this to protect the congregation — not from the virus but from a tyrannical government.”

Howard-Browne could have the two misdemeanor charges against him dropped after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis deemed places of worship as “essential business” in a mandatory statewide stay-at-home order issued Wednesday.

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Devon Still Celebrates Daughter, Leah’s, Cancer Being In Remission For 5 Years

Former NFL player Devon Still has lots to celebrate after his 9-year-old daughter reached a milestone in her previous battle with cancer. Leah Still recently marked five years of being cancer-free and to honor the achievement, her doting dad whipped up a gourmet dinner since many restaurants are closed in an attempt to calm the spread of COVID-19.

“Leah didn’t get to go to the steakhouse she wanted to to celebrate so I put on my chef hat and brought the steakhouse to her,” the ex-professional athlete wrote on Instagram last week alongside a video of a smiling Leah seated at a table with homemade steak, lobster tails, and asparagus.

 

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Leah didn’t get to go to the steakhouse she wanted to to celebrate so I put on my chef hat and brought the steakhouse to her. #CancerFree #LeahStrong

A post shared by Devon Still (@stillinthegame) on Mar 25, 2020 at 8:03pm PDT

In a follow-up post, Still shared an image of Leah sleeping with a mustache and beard drawn on her face. “This is why we fought so hard..to be able to have these moments,” he captioned the photo. “#QuarantinePrankWars start now. Parents 1…Kids -0.”

 

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This is why we fought so hard..to be able to have these moments 😂😂 #QuarantinePrankWars starts now. Parents - 1....Kids - 0. Where the rest of my parents at? It’s time to show our kids who’s boss. Tag me in your photos lol.

A post shared by Devon Still (@stillinthegame) on Mar 26, 2020 at 7:12am PDT

At just 4 years old, Leah was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma, a rare cancer typically found in young children that usually develops in nerve cells and affects small glands, but can spread to different organs. Leah underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in 2015. Last year, she shared some advice for other children fighting cancer. “I would say stay strong and it doesn’t matter what’s on the outside, it matters what’s on the inside,” Leah told the TODAY show. “And you’re not fighting this alone, ever.”

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