We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me
– Michael Jackson, We’re the World (1985)
28 years ago, these lyrics resonated deeply across the globe. Never before has a song had such a profound impact on human beings, and made such a significant difference in the lives of those suffering in Africa. “We are the World” remains the most significant charitable song ever to this very day.
Africa was in shambles. Famine swept across the continent. A bloody guerilla war in Ethiopia was raging. Change was needed, and a pop phenomenon by the name of Michael Jackson planned to make it happen. Pairing with 44 of the most talented musicians in the world, including Lionel Ritchie, Quincy Jones and Billy Joel, Jackson recorded a seven-minute ode to uniting the world. The song helped do just that.
“We are the World” helped raise over 60 million dollars for relief efforts in Africa. The project altogether showed that people of significance, whether it be politicians or pop icons, could make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. It sent a message to developed countries that it is the obligation of those with power to help those without it.
The influence “We are the World” has had on musicians is tremendous. Twenty-five years after the original recording of the song, artists new and old came together to record a remake, dedicated to raising money and awareness to those suffering in Haiti from earthquakes. Artists included Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Jamie Foxx and many more. Lionel Ritchie and Quincy Jones executive produced the song.
Music truly can be inspirational and have an amazing impact on the world. No better is this reflected than through We are the World, where artists of prominence stepped up to the plate and delivered change.
– William Norris