Special Sub-Topic: "We Are The World" - The Event
|Where did this historic recording session take place?|
Hollywood, California. The performers gathered at the A&M Recording Studios in Hollywood, California. The night of January 28, 1985 was selected as it was the night of the American Music Awards, to insure that as many artist as possible could attend. Following the awards show, 45 musicians attended the recording session.
|What was the name that the super group of popular musicians were billed as for this recording?|
USA for Africa. The group name "USA for Africa" actually stood for United Support of Artist for Africa.
|How many members of the legendary Jackson family participated in the recording session?|
seven. Pop superstar Michael Jackson was a co-writer of the song, and sang one of the rotating lead vocals. Michael was joined by his four brothers, Jackie, Jermaine, Tito, and Marlon, with whom he performed with as the "Jackson 5", Michael's youngest brother, Randy and his sister, LaToya. All but Michael participated as contributing vocalist.
|Who was the first female vocalist to sing one of the rotation lead solo vocals?|
Tina Turner. Tina's solo came on the eight line of the song when she sang, "We're all a part of God's great big family."
Tina also sang line ten of the song in a duet with Billy Joel, proclaiming, "You know love is all we need."
Tina's solo followed solo's by Lionel Ritchie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, and James Ingram, and duets by Lionel Ritchie and Stevie Wonder, and Paul Simon and Kenny Rogers.
|Quincy Jones produced and conducted the performers for this historic recording session. What advisement did Jones express in the invitations to the artist?|
Check your ego at the door. The instrumental tracks were recorded ahead of time and sent out to the interested musicians. With each tape, he sent a letter that stated they should "check their ego at the door". When the artist arrived in the studio, there was a piece of tape on the floor for each person to stand on, arranged around six microphones in a semi-circle.
The session did not go without incident. In one incident reported on a "VH-1 Pop-Up Video", Waylon Jennings left the recording session due to a dispute over the lyrics. The dispute started when Stevie Wonder announced that he would like to substitute a line in Swahili. After a few rehearsals, a full-fledged creative conflict broke out after Bob Geldof pointed out that Ethiopians did not speak Swahili. Michael Jackson then proposed to keep his original line "Sha-lin, Sha-lingay", but after a few rehearsals, it too ran into opposition because it doesn't have a meaning. Eventually, Al Jarreau cried, "we can make a meaning" and came up with "One world, our word", which was changed one last time to, "One world, our children".
|The recording session for "We Are The World" represented the first time that an assembly of musical superstars gathered to perform a charitable fund raising event.|
F. The project was patterned after the successful 1984 fund raising efforts of Ban Aid, a British and Irish charity super group, founded by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in order to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. Band Aid recorded the single "Do They Know It's Christmas" on November 24, 1984. The name. Band Aid?, was chosen as a pun on the name of a well known medical product and referred to a band of musicians working to provide aid.
|The "We Are The World" recording was distributed on which record label?|
Columbia Records. Columbia Records donated their manufacturing and distribution cost to the effort. "We Are The World" hit the stores on Tuesday, March 7, 1985, and all 800,000 copies sold out before the end of the weekend.
|Who originated the idea of this particular fund raising event?|
Harry Belafonte. Harry Belafonte originally wanted to put together a benefit concert featuring black musicians to raise money for Africa. Ken Kragen thought an American version of "Band Aid" would be a better idea. He then contacted one of his clients, Lionel Ritchie, with the idea. Lionel's wife talked to Stevie Wonder's wife and arranged to line him up for the song. Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie wrote the song.
|How many individual artist or groups reportedly declined offers to sing on the record?|
thirteen. Among those declining the invitation were, Madonna, Prince, Gladys Knight, Cher, Liza Minnelli, Sheena Easton, Chrissie Hynde, Patti LaBelle, Joan Baez, Donna Summers, and the groups, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Ashford and Simpson, and Peter, Paul and Mary.
|How many weeks did "We Are The World" remain in the number one position on the "Billboard Magazine Hot 100" chart?|
four. The single entered the "Billboard Magazine Hot 100" chart on March 23, 1985 at the number 21 position. The song reached the number one position on April 13, 1985, and remained in the top chart position for four weeks.
The song also won Grammys in 1985 for "Song of the Year" and "Record of the Year". the song also represented the eighth consecutive year that Lionel Richie had written a number one song.
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