"They wanted to put a special message on the song - a message that echoes everything their father wanted for the world," an insider told UK's Sun.
Michael and Lionel Richie wrote the song in 1985 for the USA for Africa appeal. The track was co-produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian for the album We Are the World.
The new version of the song was recorded on February 1, 2010 in Hollywood, California and includes vocals by many contemporary performers including Barbra Streisand, Kanye West, Toni Braxton, The Jonas Brothers, Celine Dion, Akon and Wyclef Jean.
Janet Jackson has sung Michael's lines in the new version.