Sunday, 10 May 2009

USA for AFRICA - We Are The World

USA for AFRICA - We Are The World
Video sent by martin1976

"We Are the World" is a 1985 song written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, produced and conducted by Quincy Jones and recorded by a supergroup of popular musicians billed as USA for Africa. The charity single was intended to raise funds to help famine relief efforts in Ethiopia.
Harry Belafonte initiated the idea for a fundraising effort. His manager, Ken Kragen, suggested the multi-artist approach, inspired by the success of the British supergroup Band Aid and their 1984 fundraising single "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

The performers gathered at A&M Recording Studios in Hollywood, California, on January 28, 1985. Kragen selected the night of the American Music Awards to ensure as many artists as possible could attend. Jones famously advised them, in his written invitation, to "check your egos at the door." In all, 45 musicians attended the recording session, including Bob Geldof, who had arranged the Band Aid effort in the United Kingdom. Lead vocals were rotated among 21 of the performers, including Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, Steve Perry, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.

Columbia Records donated their manufacturing and distribution costs to the effort. "We Are the World" hit stores on Tuesday, March 7, 1985, and all 800,000 copies sold out before the end of the weekend. It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at number twenty-one. On April 5 (Good Friday in that year), more than 5,000 radio stations played the song at the same time. It became the United States’ number one single on April 13 and held the position for four weeks.

The song went on to win 1985 Grammys for Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group.

Ultimately, the single sold 7.5 million copies in the US. It was released on an album, We Are the World, which sold over three million copies. In addition to "We Are the World," the album included previously unreleased songs by Prince, Springsteen, Turner and other artists. It also included another famine relief fundraising song, "Tears Are Not Enough", which was performed by Canadian supergroup Northern Lights.

Including revenues from the single, the album, the video and related merchandise, "We Are the World" raised about $50 million for famine relief.

On The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, which was aired September 12, 2006, Lionel Richie mentioned that "We Are the World" had 32 lawsuits brought up against the song.

Solo vocalists (in order)

There comes a time when we heed a certain call (Lionel Richie)
When the world must come together as one (Lionel Richie & Stevie Wonder)
There are people dying (Stevie Wonder)
Oh, and it's time to lend a hand to life (Paul Simon)

The greatest gift of all (Paul Simon/Kenny Rogers)
We can't go on pretending day by day (Kenny Rogers)
That someone, somehow will soon make a change (James Ingram)
We're all a part of God's great big family (Tina Turner)
And the truth (Billy Joel)
You know love is all we need (Tina Turner/Billy Joel)

We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day so let's start giving (Michael Jackson)
There's a choice we're making we're saving our own lives (Diana Ross)
It's true we'll make a better day just you and me (Michael Jackson/Diana Ross)

Well, send'em you your heart so they know that someone cares (Dionne Warwick)
And their lives will be stronger and free (Dionne Warwick/Willie Nelson)
As God has shown us by turning stone to bread (Willie Nelson)
And so we all must lend a helping hand (Al Jurreau)


We are the world, we are the children (Bruce Springsteen)
We are the ones who make a brighter day so let's start giving (Kenny Logins)
There's a choice we're making we're saving our own lives (Steve Perry)
It's true we'll make a better day just you and me (Daryl Hall)

When you're down and out there seems no hope at all (Michael Jackson)
But if you just believe there's no way we can fall (Huey Lewis)
Well, well, well, let's realize that a change can only come (Cyndi Lauper)
When we (Kim Carnes)
stand together as one (Kim Carnes/Cyndi Lauper/Huey Lewis)

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