This high-powered collaboration is a charity single by American artists Jay-Z and Rihanna together with Bono and The Edge from Irish band U2. The foursome wrote and recorded the song in the wake of the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake for the Hope for Haiti Now campaign and played it at the George Clooney organized telethon in aid of the stricken country.
The genesis of the song came with Jay-Z collaborator Swizz Beatz sent text messages to Jay-Z and Bono after the earthquake ravaged the small country. The Edge, who co-produced the record, told Irish radio station 2FM on January 16, 2010 that Bono wrote the song's hook whilst on the phone to Swizz Beatz: "Bono got a call from a producer, Swizz. He and Jay-Z wanted to do something for Haiti. So Bono came up with the [vocal] phrase on the phone and last night we were here, we wrote a song, finished, recorded, and sent it back to them."
Swiss Beatz elaborated on the story of the song to Rolling Stone explaining: "The idea of the song is 'We're not gonna leave you stranded,' and that's what the chorus is. So me and Bono started going back and forth with ideas, and he was like, 'You know this word stranded keeps standing out to me,' and I asked him to sing it, and he put me on hold, 'cause he's recording the ideas on a Dictaphone - so he did it there and then on the phone." Hours later Jay-Z came up with the melody and the verses. Rihanna was then added to the effort. "I knew that Jay would be able to tell a story and that Bono would be able to sing and bring it home," Swizz said. "The last component that I added was Rihanna, and she's kinda like the angel that's on the track, softening it up and giving it that caring feeling, because this hook is so powerful."
The Hope For Haiti Now benefit LP, a recording of the performances that took place at the George Clooney organised telethon in aid of the earthquake stricken land, was the first digital-only album to top the Billboard 200 in the chart's nearly 54-year history.
Rihanna told a Norwegian talk show on January 21, 2010 that she felt pulled to support the cause of relief for Haiti's earthquake victims in part because of Haiti's geographical proximity to her home nation of Barbados.
Bertrand - Paris, France