Billy Joel's highlights from the creation of charity single, “We Are the World”.

Publish Date
Wednesday, 28 February 2024, 9:39AM

With Netflix’s recent release of The Greatest Night in Pop, we’ve been looking back at some highlights from the creation of charity single, “We Are the World”. 

In a recent interview on The Howard Stern Show, Billy Joel recalls the magical moment when Stevie Wonder encouraged Bob Dylan to “Sing like Bob Dylan”. 

During the 1985 recording of the charity single, Bob Dylan was shy to sing on his own, so Stevie Wonder gave him the encouragement to sing like Bob Dylan does! Bob Dylan replied saying "Okay, I think I can do that”.  

The charity single was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and included the voices of Ray Charles, Billy Joel, Diana Ross, Cyndi Lauper, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, and Michael Jackson's siblings Jackie, La Toya, Marlon, Randy and Tito.  

Harry Belafonte was inspired by the UK Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, and thought there should be a US equivalent, thus, “We Are the World” was created.

Another special moment for Billy Joel noted was “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'”. 

For more behind-the-scenes highlights from Billy Joel, see below.

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