Monday, March 31, 2008
Biggest-Selling Single of All Time
Harry Belafonte had a startling idea One night. The concept sprung into coordinating an all-black sing along chorus. Loving the idea, his manager suggested an American counterpart to Britain's USA For Africa-"Band-Aid"(Do They Know It's Christmas). A fund raising single on the same theme.
Problem was, no song had been thought up. Not until contacting Legendary Producer Quincy Jones. Who's known and worked with Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. Both were talented song writers in their own rights. Michael brought up the first stanzas and the chorus. Richie filled in the gaps. What materialized will always be "something Beautiful".
Ken Kragen decided to make this an inter-racial event. Inviting 55 artists to support America's version of "USA For Africa". Including The Jackson brothers(excluding Jermaine) and Latoya. But only 38 showed up.
Some were bed-ridden. Others busy on their own projects. Prince feared the presence of so many rivals. "The Purple One" only contributed a guitar solo. Plus arriving just in time for the 1986 Grammy Awards.
"The Gloved One" skipped the American Music Awards earlier that day. Creating a solo piece as a foundation for their work.
When the limo's arrived, egos were checked at the door. A sense of goodwill filled the air. All proceeds would go to Ethiopia. Where two years of famine struck that nation hard. Leaving many to die of starvation.
Yet not all of it was touchy feely. Waylan Jennings in particular argued against including an African chant. A discourse would soon brake out. Compelling Waylan to walk out the door. And as soon as he left the building, the dust settled. "Sha-lim sha-lingay"("One World our children") remained sketched in stone.
Today, "We Are The World" is among the best-selling trio of singles. Tied with "Do They Know It's Christmas" and Alton John's "Candle In The Wind".
Now let's watch the music video!
To see the making Click Here.
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