35 Years Ago: World’s Top Musicians Record “We Are The World” for Charity

28 January 1985 – “We Are the World” was recorded 35 years ago today in 1985 one of the most recognized, appreciated, and parodied songs to ever grace the face of the earth was recorded at the A&M Recording Studios in Los Angeles, California. 
The single was created and written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and sold more than 20 million copies for charity.
The final night of recording was held on January 28, 1985, at A&M Recording Studios in Hollywood.
Many of the participants came straight from an American Music Award ceremony, which had been held that same night.
In all, more than 45 of America’s top musicians participated in the recording, and another 50 had to be turned away.
It was reported that upon entering the recording studio, the musicians were greeted by a sign pinned to the door which read, “Please check your egos at the door.”
Cyndi Lauper, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson and Billy Joel taking a break during the recording of We Are the World.
They were also greeted by Stevie Wonder, who proclaimed that if the recording was not completed in one take, he and Ray Charles, the two blind men, would drive everybody home! 🙂 
The song was released on March 7, 1985, as the first single from the album. It became a worldwide commercial success: topped music charts throughout the world and became the fastest-selling American pop single in history.


 “We Are the World” received a Quadruple Platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America.
It went on to win three Grammy Awards, one American Music Award, and a People’s Choice Award. The song was promoted with a music video, a home video, a special edition magazine, a simulcast, and several books, posters, and shirts.
The promotion and merchandise aided the success of “We Are the World” and raised over $63 million (equivalent to $147 million today) for humanitarian aid in Africa and the US.
Following the devastation caused by the magnitude 7.0 M earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010, a remake of the song by another all-star cast of singers was recorded on February 1, 2010. Entitled “We Are the World 25 for Haiti“, it was released as a single on February 12, 2010, and proceeds from the record aided survivors in the impoverished country.