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"Check your egos at the door" read the sign on the front door of A&M Studios in Los Angeles on the night of January 28th, 1985.Producer Quincy Jones had placed it there because dozens of the nation's biggest singers were walking through that door, and he had exactly one night to cut a record that would save lives by raising money to help alleviate a famine in Ethiopia.
No longer the unstoppable commercial powerhouse he was in the Seventies, Wonder was still a force on the charts in 1985: "Part-Time Lover" would hit Number One later in the year.
Richie was on top of the world in 1985: he was coming off the multiplatinum in the category of favorite pop/rock album.
The "We Are the World" session was scheduled the same night as the AMAs because many of the major stars would be in Los Angeles for the show.
Richie and Jackson wrote the song at Jackson's house — they had known each other since Jackson was a child, when Richie's Commodores opened up for the Jackson 5 on tour.
Last year, Richie told about the songwriting session: "I'm on the floor in Michael's bedroom.
With his jacket and his plaid shirt, he's setting the fashion template for Rivers Cuomo's entire career.
In 1985, Simon hadn't had a hit in years; it looked like he might not have much left in the tank other than perpetual cameo appearances on Richie's hand extends into the frame, cueing Kenny Rogers, who's wearing a USA for Africa sweatshirt like he's a particularly big fan of the group.Ingram had a Number One single ("Baby, Come to Me") two years prior, but just as importantly, he was well-connected to both Jackson and Jones, having cowritten the hit single "P. Earlier in the evening, when Joel spotted Ray Charles entering the studio, he said, "That's like the Statue of Liberty walking in." Jones introduced them: "Ray, this is the guy who wrote ' New York State of Mind.'" (The song was an homage to Charles.) Joel was visibly shaking, but the pianists hit it off: the following year, they released the duet "Baby Grand," and in 1999, Charles inducted Joel into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.Joel was accompanied by his fiancée, Christie Brinkley (they were married just weeks later).As Jones told the collected singers that night, "We do proms too, babes." The video begins with synthesizers (sounding state of the art for 1985) and a computer-generated globe. than Africa. A graphic where various stars appear to be autographing their names in colored ink.As the globe spins around, we see a lot more of the U. Diana Ross and Anita Pointer have the most prominent signatures; with a giant stylized O, John Oates has the most distinctive.Before he started recording, he asked Jones, "Quincy, do you think, should I say 'you and me' or 'you and I' at the end? Jones called Jackson "Smelly"; Smelly giggled whenever he flubbed a take.