Sunday, May 22, 2011

Story Behind the Song: We are the World by Micheal Jackson and Lionel Richie

When we listen to the song 'We are the world' written by Micheal Jackson and Lionel Richie, most remember this song as a beautiful song which had around forty-something famous artists of that era and was made for some charitable purpose.When I dug dip into the story behind this song, I stumped upon some interesting facts and touching stories which I thought was worth sharing with you all.

During 1984–1985 Ethiopia suffered widespread famine affecting the inhabitants. At that time a major drain on Ethiopia's economy was the ongoing civil war. This crippled the country's economy further and contributed to the governments lack of ability to handle this crisis.Close to 8 million people became famine victims during the drought of 1984, and over 1 million died.

Meanwhile in Europe, Band Aid ,a British and Irish charity super-group, founded in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure raised money for famine relief in Ethiopia by releasing the record "Do They Know It's Christmas?" for the Christmas market that year. The single surpassed the hopes of the producers to become the Christmas number one on that release.

Following Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" project in the UK, an idea for the creation of an American benefit single for African famine relief came from activist Harry Belafonte along with fundraiser Ken Kragen.Several musicians were contacted by the pair, before Jackson and Richie were assigned the task of writing the song. Following several months of working together, the duo completed the writing of "We Are the World" one night before the song's first recording session, in early 1985.The historic event brought together some of the most famous artists in the music industry at the time.

Awarded numerous honors—including three Grammy Awards, one American Music Award and a People's Choice Award—the song was promoted with a critically received music video, a home video, a special edition magazine, a simulcast, and several books, posters and shirts. The promotion and merchandise aided the success of "We Are the World" and raised over $63 million for humanitarian aid in Africa and the US.

Now, more recently following the devastation caused by a 7 magnitude(on Richter scale) earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010, a remake of the song by another all-star cast of singers was recorded on February 2010. Entitled "We Are the World 25 for Haiti", it was released as a single on February 12, 2010, and proceeds from the record was utilised to aid the survivors in the impoverished country.

Songs like "We Are the World" have demonstrated that diverse musicians can productively work together, and further influence a movement within music fraternity to create songs that address humane concerns.

So whats your favorite song that addresses a social or a human concern ,do share it with us..for the moment enjoy this video.

source:youtube & wikipedia

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