History is made every single day. In fact, by the moment. A word said. A deed done. It's history. A song written. A song sung. It's music history. Today's history lesson is not American history, nor European history but rather world history...in music, that is, which rings with global meaning.
Today in Music History: April 27, 1985"A great song lasts for eternity," says Quincy Jones, who produced the track. "I guarantee you that if you travel anywhere on the planet today and start humming the first few bars of that tune, people will immediately know that song."
'We Are The World' was originally recorded by the supergroup USA for Africa in 1985 as a charity single. It was written jointly by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian for the album We are the World. With sales in excess of 20 million copies, it is one of the fewer than thirty all-time singles to have sold 10 million (or more) copies worldwide.
Specifically USA for Africa was a benefit single for victims of famine in Africa. It raised over $60 million, which was distributed to Ethiopia, Sudan and other impoverished countries.
1985 USA for Africa started a three-week run at No.1 on the US chart with 'We Are The World'. The US artists' answer to Band Aid (charity supergroup) had an all-star cast including in order, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, James Ingram, Billy Joel, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, Al Jarreau, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Logins, Steve Perry, Daryl Hall, Michael Jackson (again), Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, and Kim Carnes. Bob Dylan and Ray Charles were also featured on the song and given close-ups in the video. Singers in the chorus who did not get solos include Belafonte, Bette Midler, Smokey Robinson, The Pointer Sisters, LaToya Jackson, Bob Geldof, Sheila E., and Waylon Jennings. Read MORE...Tidbit of Trivia...
How do you suppose all of the participating recording artists were able to get together at this critical time? The song was recorded on January 28, 1985, the day of the American Music Awards. Since the artists were all in town for the awards it was much easier to get them together to record the single.
'We Are The World' went on to win three Grammy Awards:
~Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal - Winner: Quincy Jones
"We Are the World" is sung from a first person viewpoint, allowing the audience to "internalize" the message by singing the word we together. It has been described as "an appeal to human compassion. The first lines in the song's repetitive chorus proclaim, "We are the world, we are the children, we are the ones who make a brighter day, so let's start giving". [Source: en.wikipedia.org]
And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...