Legendary producer Jones teamed up with Lionel Richie, who recorded the original 1985 hit with Michael Jackson, and recruited a host of artists including Barbra Streisand, Celine
Dion, Wyclef Jean, Janet Jackson, Usher, Lil Wayne and Nick Jonas to raise money for the Haiti earthquake relief effort.
The Empire State of Mind hitmaker was personally invited by Jones to take part in the charity single, but, while he is supportive of the cause, he decided against it because he considers the track to be musically “untouchable” — like the King of Pop’s ‘Thriller.’
Jay-Z tells MTV.com, “‘We Are the World’ is like ‘Thriller’ to me. I don’t ever wanna see it touched.
“I’m a fan of music. I know the plight and everything that’s going on in Haiti. I applaud the efforts: (Millions have been raised) through text (donations) to Haiti.
So I appreciate the efforts and everything, but ‘We Are the World’ is (musically) untouchable like ‘Thriller’ is untouchable. Some things are just untouchable. It was a valiant effort, but for me, it’s gonna be untouchable.”