4 user 2 critic

We Are the World (1985)

In 1984, British and Irish pop stars united for the cause of Ethiopian famine relief as Band Aid. The following year, the Americans did the same as USA for Africa. This is how it happened.


Tom Trbovich


Mikal Gilmore (narration)
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Jane Fonda ... Self - Host
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dan Aykroyd ... Self
Harry Belafonte ... Self
Kim Carnes ... Self
Ray Charles ... Self
Bob Dylan ... Self
Sheila E. ... Self
Bob Geldof ... Self
Daryl Hall ... Self
James Ingram ... Self
Michael Jackson ... Self
Al Jarreau ... Self
Billy Joel ... Self
Louis Johnson Louis Johnson ... Self - Bassist
Quincy Jones ... Self - Conductor


The program takes a closer look at the huge event behind the recording of the USA for Africa's song and clip 'We Are the World', a massive concentration of influential artists of the period who joined forces to produce a great effort to combat the famine in Africa during the 1980's. Jane Fonda hosts the documentary, which follows the rehearsals for the song, the interaction between the artists and how their collaboration was put together. Written by Rodrigo Amaro

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Music


Did You Know?


Band Aid organizer Bob Geldof hung a sign on the door of the recording studio which said "Leave Your Ego At The Door". Prince (notorious for both his ego and his tantrums) reportedly drove away after seeing the sign. The solo originally planned for Prince to sing was given to Huey Lewis. See more »


Huey Lewis: [discussing the word change in the song lyrics] "Better"? No, no, "brighter". It's gonna be "brighter", now.
Stevie Wonder: "Better" has more bite.
See more »


Referenced in USA for Africa: We Are the World (1985) See more »


We Are the World
Written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie
Performed by USA for Africa

Produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian
Conducted by Quincy Jones
Associate Producer: Tom Bähler
Engineered by Humberto Gatica, assisted by Larry Fergusson and Khaliq Glover
Mastered by Bernie Grundman at Bernie Grundman Mastering
Executive Production Assistant: Madeline Randolph
Production Assistants: Pam Small, Steve Ray and Mark Ross
Production Coordinator: Jolie Levine
Copyists: Doug Dana and Tom Brown
Roadies: David Bowers, Ed Simeone and Claudio Ordenes
Vocal Choir Arrangements: Tom Bähler, Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson
Solo Vocal Choreography: Quincy Jones and Tom Bähler
Synthesizer Arrangements: David Paich, Michael Omartian, Quincy Jones, John Barnes, Michael Boddicker and Ian Underwood
Rhythm Arrangements: Quincy Jones and John Barnes
Synthesizer Programming: John Barnes, Michael Boddicker and Steve Porcaro
Synclavier Programming: Kevin Maloney and Mark Ross
Oberheim-8 Programming: Marcus Ryles
Musicians: Tom Bähler, John Barnes, Michael Boddicker, Paulinho Da Costa, Humberto Gatica, Louis Johnson, Michael Melvoin, Michael Omartian, David Paich, Steve Porcaro, Greg Phillinganes, John Robinson, Marcus Ryles, Ian Underwood
Clappers: James Ingram, Cathy Worthington, Greg Phillinganes, Marcel East, Khaliq Glover, Elaine Phillinganes, Karla Phillinganes and Mark Ross
©1985 Mijac Music (BMI) and Brockman Music (ASCAP)
(P) 1985 United Support of Artists for Africa
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User Reviews

1985 has noteworthy memories
26 April 2006 | by krissykadoodleSee all my reviews

While reliving a pleasurable journey can be, ummm, emotional...We Are the World's energy and upbeat effort to create an autonomous entity to benefit another nation in crisis was a scratch on the surface. From Bangladesh several years before We Are...1985, Live Aid, and yes, even Hands Across America whose anniversary is quickly approaching, Farm Aid and other offshoots, from then to now...twenty some years later, almost an entire year since Live 8 and One, makes me wonder what happened to all the good intentions behind so many initial steps along the way.

Including the faltering steps of my feet right in my own back yard. Across a street, a fence, across a nation, across the planet...maybe it's time we all took a walk.

While "We Are The World" may be praise worthy for the accomplishments through multiple powers there are other works worth remembering from 1985 for their "artistic" agendas as well. Take a trip back to Foreignor's "I want to know what love is" floats in circles around me...must it take disasters and droughts to bring this world together.

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Release Date:

28 January 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

We Are the World: The Story Behind the Song See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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