+
upworthy
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.”

@geaux75/TikTok

Molly was found tied to a tree by the new owners of the house.

Molly, an adorable, affectionate 10-year-old pit bull, found herself tied to a tree after her owners had abandoned her.

According to The Dodo, Molly had “always been a loyal dog, but, unfortunately, her first family couldn’t reciprocate that same love back,” and so when the house was sold, neither Molly nor the family’s cat was chosen to move with them. While the cat was allowed to free roam outside, all Molly could do was sit and wait. Alone.

Luckily, the young couple that bought the house agreed to take the animals in as part of their closing agreement, and as soon as the papers were signed, they rushed over to check in.
Keep ReadingShow less
Curiosity Show/YouTube

The Ames window trick.

Optical illusions are universally beloved for how they trick our brains and blow our minds. There's a reason we enjoy magic shows and Escher paintings and are mesmerized by fake oases in the desert. We love seeing things that bend our perceptions of reality, and the science behind the magic always proves fascinating as well.

Keep ReadingShow less

Teacher Lisa Conselatore isn't holding back.

A recent study by the National Center for Education Statistics found that 87% of public schools say the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted students' socio-emotional development. Respondents have also said there has been a significant increase in student misconduct.

However, a teacher with 24 years of experience in the U.S. and abroad believes we are misplacing blame for this rise in misconduct. In a viral TikTok video with over 480,000 views, Lisa Conselatore claims that the big problem isn’t the pandemic but modern parenting.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Woman shares sweet exchange with 92-year-old grandpa who invited her over for 'sleepover'

“We can order food and watch a mystery show. Love, grandpa.”

via Pexels

A grandfather and granddaughter holding hands.

Loneliness is one of the most dangerous health problems in the United States, although it’s seldom discussed. Psychology Today says loneliness has the same mortality risks as obesity, smoking, alcoholism and physical inactivity.

A meta-analysis from Brigham Young University found that social isolation may increase the risk of premature death by up to 50%. The problem with loneliness is that people suffer in silence and it afflicts the ones we don’t see.

A TikTok user who goes by the name Megan Elizabeth recently shared a touching story on social media about how her grandfather was feeling lonely so he reached out to her. The story shows what can happen when one person is brave enough to confront their social isolation and the important role grandkids can play in their grandparents’ lives.

Keep ReadingShow less

15 things Europeans really like about America.

Even though European countries and America are roughly on the same level regarding development, there are still some stark differences in their ways of life. Americans may look to Europe and feel a bit jealous over their free healthcare systems and more laid-back approach to their professional lives.

But Europeans who visit America are also in awe of some of the everyday things that Americans take for granted, which seem to be luxuries.

A Reddit user named Prof_XdR asked Europeans on the AskReddit subforum to share the everyday American things that they believe are luxuries, and the question received nearly 13,000 responses.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Woman creates the most beautiful photo album of her dog to honor his final days

Shelby Parks wanted to give her sister Savannah a lasting memory of their cherished pet. Mission wonderfully accomplished.

golden retriever puppy sitting on ground during daytime

We never get enough time with our pets. It’s one of life’s harshest realities. When that day does finally come, it helps to have little tokens of their memory—a cherished toy, clay paw prints…and of course, photos. No pet parent is without countless images of their fur baby tucked away.

And when Shelby Parks, and her sister Savannah, were getting ready to say goodbye to their beloved Golden Retriever Boomer, Shelby knew exactly what to do with all those photos of Boomer living his best life.
Keep ReadingShow less