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Pop Culture

Rehearsal footage from 'We Are the World' shows how incredibly talented everyone was in the '80s

Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Diana Ross, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, man oh man.

we are the world, michael jackson, bob dylan

Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie wrote "We Are the World."

From 1983 to 1985, more than 1 million people in Ethiopia died from extreme famine. A few months after a BBC report on the famine that triggered the U.K. Band Aid charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?," the biggest stars in the American music industry came together in 1985 to record a charity single to help those suffering in Ethiopia, Sudan and other impoverished African countries.

The collection of entertainers called themselves USA for Africa, and their single, “We Are the World,” sold more than 7 million records worldwide and has generated $60 million over the past 37 years.

The song was written by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson and produced by Quincy Jones. The vocals were recorded after the American Music Awards in Los Angeles on January 28, 1985, in a single 8 p.m. to 8 a.m session at Hollywood's A&M Recording Studios.


The list of those who appear on the song is impressive: Dan Aykroyd, Harry Belafonte, Lindsey Buckingham, Kim Carnes, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Sheila E., Bob Geldof, Daryl Hall, James Ingram, Jackie Jackson, LaToya Jackson, Marlon Jackson, Michael Jackson, Randy Jackson, Tito Jackson, Al Jarreau, Waylon Jennings, Billy Joel, Cyndi Lauper, Huey Lewis and the News, Mario Cipollina, John Colla, Bill Gibson, Chris Hayes, Sean Hopper, Kenny Loggins, Bette Midler, Willie Nelson, John Oates, Jeffrey Osborne, Steve Perry, The Pointer Sisters, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Dionne Warwick and Stevie Wonder.

A video going viral on TikTok shows behind-the-scenes footage of the entertainers singing the song and what’s incredible is just how great their voices are. Even though it’s just a run-through, every one of them sounds pitch-perfect. It’s a great reminder that in 1985, you had to really know how to sing to be a famous singer.

In a post-autotune world, it’s hard to know which singers can actually sing and sadly, not a lot of people care if they can.

When Michael Jackson hits the line, “We’re down and out, there is no hope at all,” in the bridge, it’s spine-tingling. It’s believed that Prince was supposed to appear on the song but didn’t show up at the session, so Huey Lewis got his line.

@musicvarietyclips

Replying to @jhcharcoots more rehearsal footage (notice Lionel “fix” Kenny’s part) #wearetheworld #rehearsal #80s

A funny video from the sessions is always making the rounds on social media. Bob Dylan looks completely out of place in a room full of flashy ’80s celebrities and appears to have no idea what everyone is singing. Dylan’s “mood” in the room has become a universal representation of what it feels like to be part of a group project without having read the book.

The USA for Africa project didn’t stop with “We Are the World.” Since 1985, it has raised more than $100 million for people struggling with poverty and malnutrition in Africa and the U.S. It also encouraged many to become an agent of change in their own right.

“‘We Are the World’ motivated millions to become activists in their own way. Their bold, individual and collective power brought change to their communities and beyond. Lives were transformed,” Marcia Thomas, USA for Africa’s executive director said. “Access to food, education, health care and peace became a reality for many who had been left out. ‘We Are the World’ became a movement…your movement. And… it still resonates.”

Pedro Pascal and Bowen Yang can't keep a straight face as Ego Nwodim tries to cut her steak.

Most episodes of “Saturday Night Live” are scheduled so the funnier bits go first and the riskier, oddball sketches appear towards the end, in case they have to be cut for time. But on the February 4 episode featuring host Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian,” “The Last of Us”), the final sketch, “Lisa from Temecula,” was probably the most memorable of the night.

That’s high praise because it was a strong episode, with a funny “Last of Us” parody featuring the Super Mario Brothers and a sketch where Pascal played a protective mother.

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AMC Theaters/Youtube, Variety/Twitter

AMC announced that it would be implementing a new three-tier ticketing system.

AMC Theaters, America’s largest movie theater chain, announced on Feb 6 that it will be adopting different ticket prices based on seat location.

Moviegoers will have three tiers to choose from based on sightline of the movie screen—Preferred Sightline, set in the middle at the highest price point, Value Sightline, set in the front of the auditorium at the lowest price, and Standard Sightline, which is basically everything else (including the back seats, which are perhaps the most commonly picked) set at the traditional cost of a ticket.

In other words…heartbreak will feel more expensive in a place like this…or less, depending on where you sit



The company’s announcement was met with both criticism and approval. While some feel the move follows a well-established business model, others have found it to be taking away a valued aspect of the moviegoing experience.

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Pop Culture

Keanu Reeves shocks a small-town pub by stopping in for a pint and taking photos with the staff

“So today we had a surprise visitor for lunch. What a lovely man he was, too."

Keanu Reeves in São Paulo, Brazil, 2019.

Keanu Reeves has a reputation as one of Hollywood’s nicest celebrities. Recently, he cheered up an 80-year-old fan who had a crush on him by calling her on the phone. He’s also bought an ice cream cone for a fan to give an autograph on the receipt and crashed a wedding to take photos with the bride and groom.

He’s also an incredible humanitarian who gave up a big chunk of his money from "The Matrix" to a cancer charity.

The “John Wick” star was his usual gracious self over the weekend when on Saturday, February 4, he and a friend walked into The Robin Hood pub in Tring, Hertfordshire, about 30 miles outside of London.

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via Pexels

A mother puts a fresh diaper on her baby.

Scientists at Penn State University have devised a “smart diaper” that alerts parents when their baby is wet. The diaper is made of paper, treated with sodium chloride (salt) and has a circuit board drawn with a pencil.

When the humidity level rises in the diaper, the graphite and the urine are absorbed by the paper and it turns on a sensor powered by a small lithium battery. The sensor then sets the alarm on an app that parents download onto their phones.

“The hydration sensor is highly sensitive to changes in humidity and provides accurate readings over a wide range of relative humidity levels, from 5.6% to 90%,” the researchers at Penn State said in a statement.

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Pop Culture

Kelly Clarkson and Pink's gorgeous unplugged 'What About Us?' duet came with a timely​ message

"We're not listening to each other right now. And it's so loud, and so gross, and so angry…"

Pink and Kelly Clarkson teamed up for a sweet acoustic version of "What About Us?"

Pink and Kelly Clarkson are both known for having powerhouse voices that can belt at incredible ranges but also soften for a sweet ballad. Put the two of them together, and…well, dang.

On Feb 6, Clarkson featured Pink on her daytime talk show, in which she often sings with musical guests. The two superstars sang several acoustic duets with pitch-perfect harmonies, prompting fans of both artists to clamor for a collaborative album.

One song they sang together was Pink's "What About Us?" Pink previously described the song to The Sun in 2017: "The world in general is a really scary place full of beautiful people. Humans are resilient and there's a lot of wonderful—like I said in the song—'billions of beautiful hearts' and there are bad eggs in every group. And they make it really hard for the rest of us."

In the intro to their duet, Clarkson asked Pink about the impetus behind her writing the song.

"We're not listening to each other right now. And it's so loud, and so gross, and so angry and people are being forgotten," Pink shared. "People are being counted out and their rights are being trampled on just because a group of people doesn't believe in them."

"Like, I don't understand how so many people in this world are discounted because one group of people decided they don't like that," she continued. "And I won't—I won't have it. One of the most beautiful things that my dad taught me was that my voice matters and I can make a difference, and I will."

The lyrics of the song seem to address the political leaders and decision-makers who hold people's lives in their hands as they pull the levers of power. It's a beautiful song with an important message wrapped up in gorgeous two-part harmony.

Enjoy:

Saturday Night Live/Youtube

"It's a me."

Pedro Pascal and HBO seem to be a match made in pop culture heaven. His role in the fourth season of “Game of Thrones” shot him to notoriety. He’s currently starring in “Last of Us,” which also boasts a massive viewership.

And now, thanks to one epic “Saturday Night Live” skit, fans are clamoring to see Pascal take on a new role—a brooding, hardened, princess smuggling Mario.

The faux trailer imagines the video game Mario Kart as a quintessential HBO drama. Mario (Pascal) has to use his driving skills to get Princess Peach (played by Chloe Fineman) through an apocalyptic Mushroom Kingdom.
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