We Are The World
By Mary Miller Cullins
On April 11, 1985, “We Are The World”, was the #1 song in the U.S. according to Billboard magazine. The song, written by Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, and produced by Quincy Jones was a charity single originally recorded by the supergroup USA for Africa. With sales in excess of 20 million copies, it is one of the fewer than thirty all-time singles to have sold over 10 million copies worldwide.
The idea for the creation of an American single for African famine relief came from activist Harry Belafonte. Harry, along with fundraiser Ken Kragen, was instrumental in bringing the vision to reality. Several musicians were contacted before Jackson and Richie wrote the song. After several months of work, the duo completed “We Are The World” one night before the song’s first recording session. The last recording session was held on January 28, 1985. The historic event brought together some of the most famous artists in the music industry at that time.
The song was released on March 7, 1985, it topped music charts throughout the world and became the fastest selling American pop single in history. Awarded numerous honors, including three Grammy Awards, “We Are The World” raised over 63 million dollars for humanitarian aid in Africa and in the US.
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