The Making of “We Are The World” Documented in “The Greatest Night In Pop”

On January 28, 1985, some of America’s top-selling pop musicians including 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, Daryl Hall, Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, Kim Carnes, Bob Dylan and Ray Charles arrived at the A&M Recording Studios in Hollywood, CA and recorded “USA For Africa – We Are The World.”

“We Are the World” is a charity single recorded by the supergroup USA for Africa written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian for the album We Are the World. With sales in excess of 20 million copies, it is the ninth-best-selling physical single of all time. The promotion and merchandise helped “We Are the World” raise more than $80 million ($214 million today) for humanitarian aid in Africa and the United States.

Entertainer and activist Harry Belafonte organized the recording. All the proceeds from the sale of the recording were donated to United Support of Artists for Africa (USA for Africa). The organization provided food and relief aid for the 1983–1985 famine in Ethiopia, which killed about one million people. Belafonte also set aside money to help eliminate hunger in the United States of America.

The Greatest Night in Pop is the 2024 documentary film that tracks the creation of the renowned song. The film features new interviews with various people involved in the song, including Lionel Richie, Bruce Springsteen, Huey Lewis, Dionne Warwick, and Cyndi Lauper.

The world premiere of The Greatest Night in Pop took place on January 19, 2024, at the Sundance Film Festival as part of the Special Screenings. On January 29, 2024, Netflix released the film on its service.

Listen and watch this incredible collaboration — all in the service of alleviating starvation and hunger. All of these best-selling musicians donated their time and all proceeds went to USA for Africa.

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