Celebrities Sing
Is this the next 'We Are the World'?

"One light, a light unto the world.
Your light, a beacon brightly shining.
One truth, spoken from the heart:
A part of you will always be
the part that is the best in me.
-- excerpt from "One Light"

See also...
... by Maryam Henein
... in the Dirt section
... from November 15, 1999

What do Larry King, Little Richard, and Bo Derek have in common? Absolutely nothing, except that they are among the scads of celebrity poster children for "One Light" -- a new tune being touted as the "Anthem for the New Millenium."

This hymn for humanity informs us that the essence of God resides within us all, regardless of our beliefs. "It's about time people graduate from religion and start applying the lessons," says composer Shuki Levy, who along with Damon Elliott (Dionne Warwick's son) is co-producing the star-studded ditty.

"I want to take this message of peace and unity as far as I can go," explains Levy, who is better known for writing and directing the second Power Rangers movie (yes, there's more than one). Perhaps inspired by those teenagers with attitude who battle to save the universe, Levy hopes this tune will battle the evil forces of the world and "effect positive and tangible changes in the lives of people in need."

This 21st century "We Are the World" doesn't, however, just feature pipes with flair. The duo welcomed all famed faces to broaden their marketing reach. They desperately took on anyone with any name recognition, regardless of their apparent talent or lack thereof. Yodeling artists include Melanie Griffith, Antonio Banderas, Blair Underwood, Monica Calhoun, David Arquette, Halle Berry, Anthony Michael Hall, and Steven Seagal. Luckily they were able to add a little bit of meat to the soup with some trained voices such as Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Jermaine Jackson, Ziggy Marley, Gladys Knight, and Kenny Rogers.

"One Light" was originally written by Levy, Winston Richard, and Shell Danielson as the finale of MASADA: The Musical -- a 2000-year-old true story about 960 people who fled to the mountain of Masada in Israel and committed suicide to declare themselves free from the enslaving Roman Empire. A hipper pop version was specially devised for the celebrity goulash, and the music video and CD are slated for worldwide sale sometime this month.

To aid Levy's mission of world over-exposure, Dr. Robert Schuller of the Crystal Cathedral in Los Angeles has already adopted the song to lull his 80 million or so fanatical Hour of Power followers.

And the icing on the cake, the tinsel on the tree, as it were: This Christmas eve, TV viewers in 164 countries can watch Michael Crawford of Phantom fame and a 2000-member choir perform "One Light" on a hill overlooking Bethlehem, while a group of religious and political leaders sign a proclamation of peace.

All proceeds go to help former President Jimmy Carter.

For his efforts to raise money for Habitat for Humanity, that is.

Maryam Henein freelances for publications including The Hollywood Reporter, Detour, and GalleryMagazine. The Montreal native is always on the lookout for dirt to unearth.