“We Are the World” is a charity single recorded by the supergroup USA for Africa in 1985. The song was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian. It was created to raise funds for humanitarian aid to address the famine and food crisis in Ethiopia. The song was recorded on January 28, 1985 and released on March 7, 1985 with “Grace” on the B-side. The single’s proceeds were donated to the organization USA for Africa, which aimed to alleviate poverty and provide relief to those affected by the famine. “We Are the World” brought together a remarkable lineup of over 40 top American musicians and artists from various genres, including Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Ray Charles, and many more. This diverse group of musicians came together under the name “USA for Africa” to record the song.
Upon its release, “We Are the World” became a massive commercial success, topping charts around the world and winning several awards, including Grammy Awards. The song’s impact extended beyond its chart success; it raised millions of dollars for famine relief in Ethiopia and increased global awareness of the crisis. At the 1986 Grammy Awards, the song and its accompanying music video won four awards: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Best Music Video, Short Form. The music video was awarded two honors at the 1985 MTV Video Music Awards. It collected the awards for Best Group Video and Viewer’s Choice.
The song itself is characterized by its inspirational and anthemic quality. It features powerful vocal performances by the participating artists and a memorable melody. The lyrics convey a message of unity and collective responsibility, emphasizing the need to come together to help those in need. “We Are the World” is not only a significant musical achievement but also a testament to the power of music to bring people together for a noble cause. It remains an iconic charity single and a symbol of unity and compassion in the face of humanitarian crises.