“We Are The World” by USA For Africa, went No.1 on the US Hot 100 on this day in 1985

The all-star group of singers and musicians was the American response to the British Band Aid

“We Are The World” by USA For Africa, went No.1 on the US Hot 100 on this day in 1985

Written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and produced by Quincy Jones, “We Are The World” remains one of the absolute symbols of the 1980’s Pop music and charity. The American response to the British all-star Band Aid (“Do They Know It’s Christmas Time?”), “We Are The World” had from the beginning the potential to become as big (or bigger) as the British song, when the biggest Pop music star of the decade, Michael Jackson, co-wrote it with Lionel Richie. The famous and eclectic group of singers that participated on the recording as USA for Africa (also a non-profit foundation), included top names such as the songwriters Michael Jackson and Lionel Rithcie, Tina Turner, Bruce Springsteen, Cyndi Lauper, Ray Charles, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Steve Perry, Kim Carnes, Bob Dylan, Kenny Rogers, Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon among many others. Even British Bob Geldof who put together Band Aid gave his voice as part of the vocal chorus on the song. With the song’s profits, the non-profit foundation would then feed and relieve starving people in Africa, specifically Ethiopia, where around one million people died during the country’s 1983–1985 famine, and also help eliminate hunger in the United States of America. Released on March 7, 1985, it became the fastest-selling American pop single in history, and it was the only one released from the “We Are the World” album and became a chart success around the world. In the US, peaked to No.1 on April 20, 1985. “We Are the World” was recognized with several awards following its release. At the 1986 Grammy Awards, the song and its accompanying music video won four awards: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Best Music Video, Short Form. The music video was awarded two honors at the 1985 MTV Video Music Awards. It collected the awards for Best Group Video and Viewer’s Choice.

Look back at the iconic 1985 music video for “We Are The World” by USA For Africa



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