Posted on March 7, 2016
It was inspired by musician / activist Harry Belafonte.
It was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and it was produced by Quincy Jones.
It was recorded in 1985 by the supergroup USA for Africa.
It was released on this date in 1985, and it became the fastest-selling American pop single in all of history.
And the money went to charity – $63 million (the equivalent of $136 million today) for humanitarian aid in Africa.
“We Are the World” was sung by a “supergroup” that included SO many of the most famous musicians of the 1980s, it's not even funny. Everyone from Stevie Wonder to Bob Dylan, Paul Simon to Diana Ross, Ray Charles to Cyndi Lauper, La Toya Jackson to Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel to Smokey Robinson, Tina Turner to Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelsen to Kenny Loggins...well, I could go on and on. Of course, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie were featured, and Harry Belafonte joined in with the chorus.
|At the time this album was released, I wasn't|
buying albums. Like, at all.
But I bought this one!
After the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Richie, Jones, and Haitian-American musician Wyclef Jean recorded a new version of the song: “We Are the World 25 for Haiti.”
This version included more than 80 musical artists, including everyone from Justin Bieber and Pink to Celine Dion and Tony Bennet, from Lil Wayne and Janet Jackson to Snoop Dogg and Busta Rhymes, from Usher and Kanye West to the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus, from Barbra Streisand and Jennifer Hudson to Fergie and Mary Mary, from Enrique Iglesias to Carlos Santana. A Spanish version of the song (“Somos el Mundo”) was recorded by a Latin supergroup.
|An unusual assortment of recording artists|
got together to raise money for earthquake
relief for Haiti.
|This "duet" is Janet Jackson|
singing alongside a video of
her brother, from the first WATW.
(Michael Jackson died a few months before the new version was created, but some clips of him in the original video were included at his mother's request, so that he could be a part of the Haitian benefit.)
Also on this date:
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