Sources: About Entertainment – By Ken Simmons| All Things Michael
The all-star single “We Are The World” was recorded on January 21, 1985 and released March 7, 1985 to raise money to fight poverty, especially hunger, in Africa and the United States. Composed by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and produced by Quincy Jones, it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, RandB, and Adult Contemporary charts, and has sold over 20 million copies worldwide. It is one of the ten best selling singles of all-time.
Entertainer/social activist Harry Belafonte and Richie’s manager Ken Kragen created the idea for the song and formed the non-profit organization USA for Africa (United Support of Artists for Africa). The organization’s achievements include:
- Raised more than $75 million to fight poverty in Africa
- More than 6 million people joined hands to fight poverty in America
- More than $25 million was raised across the US to fight hunger and homelessness in America.
“We Are The World” earned four Grammy Awards in 1985: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal, and Best Music Video, Short Form.
Here are the “20 RandB Stars Who Made ‘We Are The World’ A Classic”
1. Michael Jackson (soloist)
Michael Jackson composed “We Are The World” with Lionel Richie and is one of the soloists on the song. They won a Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1985.
A few of his incredible accomplishments:
He is most awarded artist in history. Among his hundreds of awards:
- 13 Grammy Awards including winning a record eight Grammys in 1984. Also, a Grammy Living Legend Award and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
- 86 Billboard Awards
- 26 American Music Awards, more than any other artist. He was named the American Music Awards “Artist of the Century” and “Artist of the 1980s”
- 31 Guinness World Records including Best Selling Album in History for Thriller which has sold an estimated 65 million copies worldwide
- 85 MTV Awards
- 8 World Music Awards
- 13 number one singles on the Billboard 100, more than any other male artist
- First artist to have a Billboard 100 top ten single in five different decades: 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s
- Estimated 400 million records sold worldwide
- Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as a member of The Jackson Five and as a solo artist
- Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Jackson Five and as a solo artist
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