I gotta feeling: The gorgeous and full-throated Fergie ‘ Stacy Ferguson ‘ of the Black Eyed Peas has joined the cast of Quincy Jones’s “We Are the World 25.” The powerhouse song and video for Haiti relief debuting next Friday, February 12th during the Olympics.
Fergie did not make the recording session this past Monday, but she has since added her vocals and been filmed by Paul Haggis’s video crew. Her pea in the pod, Will.i.am, participated in Monday’s marathon session.
Fergie is only the second artist to add vocals to the record. On Thursday, Janet Jackson added hers by satellite link from Atlanta.
That’s it, then. No other artists are scheduled. As for Michael Jackson’s kids, Quincy Jones has an idea to have them read a poem by Maya Angelou at the end of the video version of the new recording. But so far nothing’s happened in that regard.
What is happening now is the process of setting up a new We Are the World Foundation, separate from the old organization from 25 years ago. That’s a good thing, too. The old charity, USA For Africa, has a lot of accounting issues and many questions to be answered.
Maybe because of that, Quincy Jones wanted the new group to be free of old baggage. “He wants complete transparency,” says a source. The board members for the new We Are the World Foundation are Jones, Lionel Richie, Wyclef Jean, Paul Haggis, Randy Phillips, and Ambassador Louis Moreno for the InterAmerican Development Bank.
Meantime, the old USA for Africa looks like it’s a little dodgy these days. Frankly, it’s surprising it’s still in business. according to its last three tax filings, USA For Africa more or less exists to pay the salary, rent and expenses of one executive, Marcia Thomas. She’s been receiving about $50,000 a year in salary, plus all those other amounts including $18,000 in travel and expenses.
USA for Africa was set up originally in 1985 to send money to Ethopia because its population was starving. But in 2008 a total of $20,000 went to grants, and ‘none of them were in Africa. A grant of $1,000 went to an Entertainment Law Student, another $9000 went to public relations. And $4,000 went to insurance ‘ presumably for Marcia Thomas.
The president of USA for Africa is a Beverly Hills ob/gyn named Dr. Lloyd Greig. When I spoke to him, he told me to call Ms. Thomas. Her phone, however, rings without answer.