We Are the World USA for Africa (Columbia, 1985)
We Are the World was a charity single recorded by supergroup USA for Africa. We Are the World was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian. Selling over 20 million copies, it’s one of approximately 30 singles to have sold 10 million copies (or more).
Seven weeks after Band-Aid released Do They Know It’s Christmas? (December 3, 1984), Jackson and Richie completed writing We Are the World. Recording began the next evening. We Are the World was released March 7, 1985. It topped the singles charts worldwide and became the fastest-selling American pop single in history. We Are the World was the first single to receive a multi-platinum certification (quadruple platinum). We Are the World won three Grammys, an American Music Award and a People’s Choice Award. We Are the World has raised over $63 million for both long and short term African relief.
Soloists were Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, James Ingram, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, Al Jarreau, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry, Darryl Hall, Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, Kim Carnes, Bob Dylan and Ray Charles. The chorus was made up of Dan Aykroyd, Harry Belafonte, Lindsey Buckingham, Mario Cipollina, Johnny Colla, Sheila E., Bob Geldof, Bill Gibson, Chris Hayes, Sean Hopper, Jackie Jackson, LaToya Jackson, Marlon Jackson, Randy Jackson, Tito Jackson, Waylon Jennings, Bette Midler, John Oates, Jeffrey Osborne, the Pointer Sisters (Anita, June and Ruth) and Smokey Robinson.
On January 12, 2010, Haiti experienced a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake. On February 1, another all-star cast got together to remake We Are the World to benefit the Haitian survivors. On February 12, We Are the World 25 for Haiti was released.