On May 17 2007, Madonna’s Official Fan Club (Icon) announced the release of Hey You:
We have the special track that M recorded especially for LIVE EARTH. The track is called Hey You and you can stream this new track in its entirety through ICON radio.
The charity single was made available for download on iTunes on May 24, 2007.
On December 4 2007, Warner Bros. released Live Earth: The Concerts for a Climate in Crisis on CD and DVD. The CD included Madonna’s Hey You, while the DVD included her La Isla Bonita performance with Gogol Bordello.
The CD/DVD was released internationally on November 26 and December 4 in North America. Proceeds from the CD/DVD were directed to the Alliance for Climate Protection.
Madonna performed the following songs during the benefit concert:
- Hey You
- Ray Of Light
- La Isla Bonita
- Hung Up
On July 7 2007, Madonna performed Hey You, Ray Of Light, La Isla Bonita/Lela Pala Tute and Hung Up at the Live Earth benefit concert at London’s Wembley Stadium.
Madonna was joined onstage by Gogol Bordello. It was also her final live performance to feature longtime backing singer Donna De Lory, musical director/collaborator Stuart Price, as well as drummer Steve Sidelnyk and keyboardist Marcus Brown.
On June 16 2007, the Live Earth website premiered a video for Madonna’s charity song, Hey You. It featured a series of images from all over the world, related to energy consumption and global warming, with natural catastrophes and world leaders.
Recorded during early sessions for Madonna’s Hard Candy album and co-produced by Madonna and Pharrell Williams, Hey You is registered in both the Warner/Chappell and ASCAP publishing databases with Madonna as its sole songwriter, making it the first entirely self-written song Madonna had released since 1985’s Gambler (with the exception of The Funny Song – an interlude from the Drowned World Tour DVD, which is credited to Madonna alone). The demo version of I Love New York (as featured in the I’m Going To Tell You A Secret documentary and CD) is credited solely to Madonna in the release’s liner notes – however, in separate entries from the Confessions on a Dance Floor version, the ASCAP and Warner/Chappell databases both credit the “movie version” to Madonna and Stuart Price.
Madonna adapted some of the lyrics for Hey You from two unreleased (at the time) tracks, Keep The Trance and It’s So Cool (the latter was later officially released as a bonus track for Celebration, although both songs had previously leaked in demo form).