Singing for a Cause…

It's Tequila Thursday AND Throwback Thursday. Come on in for $5 tequila and some tunes from years gone by.

The other day we were shuffling around the internet looking for some Trivia Night fodder when we came across a online quiz that asked, "Can you name all of the singers in the We Are The World Video?"

Wow, what a throwback! We Are The World was released on March 8, 1985 and conducted by Quincy Jones. See if you can name the 21 solo singers. Take a look. (answers at the bottom of today's post)

Harry Belafonte, who had the original idea for the project, was in the chorus but didn't get a solo, joining Dan Aykroyd, Lindsey Buckingham, Mario Cippolina, Johnny Colla, Sheila E., Bob Geldof, Bill Gibson, Chris Hayes, Sean Hopper, Jackie Jackson, LaToya Jackson, Randy Jackson, Tito Jackson, Waylon Jennings, Bette Midler, John Oates, The Pointer Sisters and Smokey Robinson as back-up singers.

Some other interesting trivia tidbits about the song:

1. The song wasn’t fully written until the night before recording.
Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie – who co-wrote the song – finished the lyrics and melody on the night before their deadline. “I love working quickly,” Jackson later said of the process as quoted in Michael Jackson: The King of Pop by Lisa D. Campbell. “I went ahead without even Lionel knowing, I couldn’t wait. I went in and came out the same night with the song completed – drums, piano, strings, and words to the chorus.”

2. The recording took place the same night as the American Music Awards.
Many of the stars who joined forces to record “We Are the World” were competitors just hours earlier. Lauper, Turner, and Richie were among those who came straight to the studio from the 12th annual AMAs. Richie actually hosted the award show, and Lauper and Turner had both given live performances. Jackson skipped the awards to record the guiding vocals to the song – but still managed to win two AMAs despite his absence.

3. “We Are the World” wasn’t the only song the stars sang that night.
Like we mentioned, ‘We Are the World’ was the brainchild of activist/entertainer Harry Belafonte. It was Belafonte’s dream to gather a supergroup of his favorite artists to record a song that’s proceeds could be donated entirely to charity. In honor of his efforts, the entire room of stars broke out into an impromptu rendition of Belafonte’s classic hit, “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song.)”

4. Cyndi Lauper’s jewelry ruined one of the solo takes.
The motto of the evening was “check your ego at the door” – but in Lauper’s case, checking her accessories might have been more helpful. Still, she definitely won outfit of the evening.

5. No one left without swapping autographs.
“Mass hysteria broke out because everybody wanted everybody else’s autograph,” Richie of one point in the night. “I realized that there was a room of everybody being fans of everyone else.”


The 21 stars who sang solos were, in order, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, James Ingram, Billy Joel, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, Al Jarreau, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry, Daryl Hall, Michael Jackson (again), Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, and Kim Carnes. Bob Dylan and Ray Charles were also featured on the song and given close-ups in the video.

How many did you guess? :-) Wonder why Dan Aykroyd was in the crowd? He had the same agent as some of the singers. Huey Lewis got a solo because Prince bailed on the session; he thought the song was lame. Kim Carnes brought her Betty Davis Eyes to the recording session...

Rolling Stone Magazine did a blow-by-blow retelling of the making of the video/song last year. Read about it here.