The musician is accompanied by friends Paul Simon, Petra Nemcova and Dr. Jeffrey Sachs

By People Staff
Updated May 20, 2008 06:30 PM

When Wyclef Jean announced the launch of Together for Haiti, a new partnership formed in response to the food crisis in his native country, he had a special guest in the crowd.

“I thought Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were big, but I gotta say Paul Simon topped that,” says Jean. “People talk like they’re gangsters, but Paul Simon was actually in Africa when grenades went off on stage.”

Simon, in a blazer and hat, appeared at the news conference in New York City, where Jean announced that his own foundation, Yele Haiti, is partnering with the World Food Programme and the Pan American Development Foundation to help provide food, create jobs and support local agriculture in Haiti.

Simon shook hands with Jean and the two chatted as a crowd formed around them. “We talk; he’ll tell you I’m a personal friend of his,” says Jean, who collaborated with Simon on his latest album. “Paul will show up for a cause; he ain’t gonna show up for a music video!”

Also among the crowd: Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, author of End of Povery, model Petra Nemcova, and Jean’s pastor.

“If I decide to run for president, don’t do me wrong. I will denounce everything!” Jean joked with his pastor.
Tiffany McGee