Billy Joel recalls Stevie Wonder teaching Bob Dylan how to sing like himself

Publish Date
Thursday, 7 March 2024, 11:20AM

39 years ago today We Are The World was released after Harry Belafonte was inspired to create an American equivalent to Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas?, with Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie as co-writers to raise money and shine a light on African famine relief efforts.

We recently got a behind-the-scenes look at how it all went down in The Greatest Night in Pop Netflix documentary, and now Billy Joel has shared his own amazing stories from the recording.

“Funny things were happening, " Billy told The Howard Stern Show.

"Bob Dylan was shy to sing on his own. So Stevie Wonder comes out and tells Bob how to sing like Bob Dylan. 'We are the world. We are the children'. And Dylan’s like, 'Okay, I think I can do that'.'

Stevie Wonder teaching Bob Dylan to sing like Bob Dylan was a moment."

He also shared about hanging out with Bruce Springsteen during the recording, "When everybody's singing together, sometimes Bruce and I are in the chorus and sometimes we’re not because there was a big pile of deli sandwiches on the other side of the room and we kept going over to get a beer and a sandwich."

Billy also revealed Cyndi Lauper's feedback about the song the pop stars were recording, "I'm standing next to Cyndi Lauper. Now we're all being filmed while this is going on.

"And she’s leaning over to me, going 'This song sounds like a Pepsi commercial'."

As well as featuring Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen and Cyndi Lauper, We Are The World also featured Paul Simon, Tina Turner, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Loggins, Huey Lewis and many others.

The single sold more than seven million records worldwide and has generated $60 million since its release.

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