This Day in Black History: Jan. 28, 1985

(Photo: Columbia Records)

This Day in Black History: Jan. 28, 1985

"We Are the World," a charity song for Africa written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, recorded its last session featuring more than 47 vocalists on Jan. 28, 1985.

Published January 28, 2014

We Are the World,” written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and produced by Quincy Jones, is one of the biggest charity songs in history. It was recorded by 47 predominantly American pop stars on Jan. 28, 1985, at Kenny Rogers's famous Lion Share Recording Studio. 

The song, a collaboration which included vocals from Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and more, was initiated to raise funds for United Support of Artists for Africa (USA for Africa) to help famine-relief efforts in Ethiopia, which experienced unusual drought. The final studio session was epic because it was the first of its kind to incorporate such a large scale of diverse artists.

It was released on March 7, 1985, and became the first certified multi-platinum song, receiving Quadruple Platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America. Additionally, "We Are the World" raised more than $63 million for humanitarian aid in Africa and the U.S.

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Follow Dominique Zonyéé on Twitter: @DominiqueZonyee

(Photo: Columbia Records)

Written by Dominique Zonyéé


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