[artist id="1269"]Jay-Z[/artist], [artist id="1022"]U2[/artist] and [artist id="1940303"]Rihanna[/artist] got together in London to perform “Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)” in front of an audience as part of the “Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief” telethon on Friday night (January 22).
The mid-tempo track featured guitar by The Edge and messages of hope from Jay-Z, Rihanna and Bono. Along with Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” and Wyclef Jean’s finale, it was one of the most upbeat performance of the night.
“My Port-au-Princes and Haitians gods/ All my princesses/ Our condolences as we fight against this,” Jay rapped to open the record. “We right by your side/ While we trying to make sense of this/ Heavenly Father/ Help us see through these problems/ For those that’s left/ Welcome them into your garden.
“Let’s get involved with ‘em,” Jay added in the first verse. “Hand in hand with ‘em/ Arm and arm with ‘em/ Till they get strong again.”
“When the sky falls and the earth quakes/ We gonna put this back together/ We won’t break,” the rap icon promised with a melodic delivery.
In the second verse, Jay touched on Hurricane Katrina: “We learned from the past/ New Orleans was flooded/ So we know we just can’t rely on the government.”
Rihanna and Bono both lent their vocals to the hook.
“Can’t wait until tomorrow,” U2′s frontman and the pop princess sang, stressing the urgent need for help.
“Haiti, mon amour,” Rihanna took over.
“Not gonna leave you stranded, alone,” they continued.
Producer Swizz Beatz sparked the movement to get “Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)” recorded. “It’s important we as a global community all come together to help,” Swizz, who co-produced the track with Declan Gaffney, said in a statement. “Haiti needs us right now.”
Like so many others, Swizz immediately got involved in Haiti relief when he learned of the disaster the earthquake brought last Tuesday.
“Sitting in the studio and watching Haiti hurting, I knew immediately I had to do something,” he said. “I reached out to my friends Bono and Jay-Z and asked for their help. Jay and Rihanna sent their vocals, and that same night Bono and I went into the studio.”
On Saturday night, The Edge told British radio host Dave Fanning of Radio 1 that Swizz was helping to spearhead the song for Haiti. “Last night we wrote a song,” the guitarist said when asked when the public might hear new music from U2. “Bono got a call from a producer, Swizz. He and Jay-Z wanted to do something for Haiti. So Bono came up with the phrase on the phone, and last night we were here, we wrote a song — finished, recorded and sent it back to them. So that might be the next thing you hear from us!”
The in-studio version of “Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)” will be available via iTunes on a special album of live performances from the “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon. Just like the telethon, relief organizations that will benefit from the special album include Partners in Health, Oxfam America, the Red Cross, UNICEF, Yéle Haiti Foundation, United Nations World Food Program and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. All the proceeds will go toward Haiti earthquake relief.
iTunes customers can exclusively pre-order the “Hope for Haiti Now” full-performance album ($7.99) and the full two-hour video telecast ($1.99). Pre-orders will be delivered in the days following the telethon. Individual audio performances will also be available for purchase and download for 99 cents each in the days following the telethon. Apple, the record labels and the artists will donate their share of the proceeds to Haiti relief funds managed by “Hope for Haiti Now” charities, including the Red Cross and Wyclef’s Yele Haiti foundation. Performances will also be available for purchase in the days following the event through Amazon’s MP3 service and Rhapsody, through distribution provided by INgrooves.