The Greatest Night in Pop (2024) Movie Script

[applause fading in]
[man 1] Nothing will ever
be the same after tonight.
- [applause intensifies]
- [man 1] Nothing!
Some of the artists, some of the people,
some of the personalities...
Tonight is gonna be one of the most
unreal nights we've ever experienced,
and I'm glad I have a good seat
'cause I don't wanna miss a thing.
[loud chatter echoing]
- [man 2] Your timing is perfect.
- [man 1] God, hey.
- [man 2] Bruce, Lionel, you're all good?
- Good. Yeah.
[man 2] Bruce... Oh, Smokey's here too.
- [woman] Happy new year, baby.
- [man 2] Steve!
[Lionel] The greatest artists
of a generation came together...
[inaudible dialogue]
...with all of our ego...
- [does vocal exercise]
- ...with all of our talent,
to save some lives.
Must be in a dream, huh?
Okay, guys.
Hello. Hello.
[Lionel] But we only had one night.
They're not coming back tomorrow.
Let's go! Now, here's what we're gonna do.
[Bruce] It was busy and buzzy,
and people didn't know
what we were gonna be doing.
You're exhilarated, you know,
just from the unusualness of the evening.
[man clapping] We are the world
[Lionel] There was nothing more chaotic
than trying to rope
this creative ball of energy together.
This was history happening right now.
- One, two. [clears throat]
- [man] Let's put it on tape!
One, two, three, four!
[funky rock music playing]
[Bruce] All right, let's go!
[man] Legends of rock music.
[woman] The most super of superstars.
Are you ready for me?
[thunderous applause]
[man 2] Here is a unique young singer.
[crowd roars]
[man 3] The most exciting superstars
in the music world today.
[music climaxes]
[music fading]
[music ends]
[footsteps approaching]
I'm comin' in.
Comin' in hot.
[clears throat]
All right.
Let's get this party started.
- All night long
- All night
- All night...
- All night...
[Richie] I will try to take you back
as far as I can remember.
Feel good, feel good!
In the early '80s,
I'd left the Commodores.
Ken Kragen, my new manager,
he said, "Well, first of all,
your songs are more famous than you are,
so we're gonna stick your face
next to all of those wonderful songs."
Mr. Lionel Richie!
[Richie] My solo album
and stuff was happening,
and so the career was taking off.
I'm a night person,
so everything in life was happening
after one o'clock in the morning.
- [tires screech]
- [music ends]
[Richie] And then, one night,
I received this call from Ken
that changed everything.
[ambient music playing]
[woman 1] Ken Kragen ran
a talent management company.
[phone ringing]
He had the most stellar reputation.
[man] Ken Kragen!
[woman 2] Ken was a superstar.
He was as much a superstar as the artist,
but he was a superstar
in the business of music.
One morning,
there was an unplanned meeting.
We walked in,
and we're greeted by Harry Belafonte.
That stops you in your tracks.
You're looking at Hollywood royalty.
He's legendary.
I just knew something big
was about to happen.
[thunderous applause]
Daylight come and me wan' go home
[man] Harry Belafonte
was an elder statesman.
He had graduated
from being a working actor and singer.
He was still doing all that stuff,
but, for the most part,
we looked at him as this iconic figure,
and he had such social impact.
[Belafonte] We believe that artists
have a valuable function in any society,
since it is the artists
who reveal the society to itself.
[Sternberg] Much like civil rights
needed to be amplified,
Harry Belafonte felt that the issues
of poverty in the world,
certainly in Africa, needed to be told.
[anchor] For some time now,
we have been hearing reports
of another famine in Africa,
this time in Ethiopia.
But with all else
that's going on these days,
so often those reports
don't have much impact.
[Ivory] People starving in Africa
was as far away from us as you could be.
It was just something that we saw
on commercials or in documentaries.
[anchor 2] This mother
and the baby she bore two months ago
wrapped together in death.
[Belafonte] A hungry child dies silently.
In Africa, they're dying by the thousands.
How do you look
at all this overwhelming force
of need and hunger?
Something must be done.
Harry Belafonte said,
"Let's do a concert,"
and Bob Geldof had already done
the Band Aid single
about, oh, a month or so before.
Let them know it's Christmas time...
I said, "Harry, let's just take
the idea that Bob already gave us.
Let's do it. But let's get
the greatest stars in America to do it."
[Richie] Kragen said, "I just got
off the phone with Harry Belafonte."
And, uh, basically what he said was,
"I need you."
[ambient music playing]
[Richie] Harry said,
"We have white folks saving Black folks."
"We don't have Black folks
saving Black folks."
"That's a problem."
"We need to save
our own people from hunger."
He was trying to get us,
the younger group,
involved in what was happening in Africa.
I said, "Of course."
It's not that I didn't have enough to do.
I mean, I was hosting
the American Music Awards.
Had just been offered that invitation.
I'm about to go on my big solo tour.
The one thing for sure I knew,
I wanted Quincy involved because
he's the master orchestrator.
[jazz music playing]
[TV host] He's a successful performer,
but he's better known
as a producer and composer
who's worked with everyone
from Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra
to Little Richard and Paul Simon
to Diana Ross and Michael Jackson,
Mr. Quincy Jones.
[music continues]
[Richie] At that particular time,
you could not be a producer
and be any hotter.
He had the respect
of every musician on the planet.
[music climaxes, ends]
It'd been something
I had been thinking about a lot before,
you know, and Lionel called,
and, uh, he said, "Let's go."
You really had felt the need for that
of all times, you know,
'cause this is the most
the world's ever needed each other.
It started from there,
and we went on to the obvious phrase of
"Who's gonna do this thing?"
[dynamic music playing]
[Kragen] Lionel and I got into his limo,
which happened to have a phone in it.
I said, "Let's get you and Stevie Wonder
to write a song."
We called Stevie. We couldn't find Stevie.
[phone ringing]
[Kragen] Lionel continued to try Stevie
all through the night.
[Sternberg] They all wanted Stevie Wonder.
Who wouldn't?
He already had that soulful,
epic, legendary status.
And also they were all close with Stevie.
But when Stevie says,
"I'll call you back,"
you just wait for him to call you back
on whatever timetable it's going to be.
And after that, I had Quincy on the phone.
He says,
"Well, I'll see Michael tomorrow."
"I'll run it by him, see what he thinks."
I said you wanna be
Startin' somethin' ...
[anchor] The man whose record,
Thriller, has just become
the biggest-selling album ever,
who earned more Grammy nominations
this year than anyone in history.
Michael Jackson is the man of the '80s.
[man] Ladies and gentlemen,
Michael Jackson!
[fans screaming]
[music ends]
Michael and I
go back to the early Stone Age days.
We were brought up in Motown,
and, as lead singer of the Commodores
and lead singer of the Jacksons,
we bonded right away.
[indistinct chatter]
[Jackson] I've been working on this...
Been hidin' out. That's what
you been doin', I know you have.
[present] When he first learned
how to drive,
the first place he drove
was over to my house.
But he couldn't drive on the freeway
because he was scared to death,
so he knew every backstreet
in the world to get to my house.
But Stevie wouldn't call me back,
so Michael and I
needed to start writing without Stevie.
I said to Michael,
"I can write the song by myself.
You can write the song by yourself."
"But if we gonna do this together
with Quincy Jones, it has to be huge."
[music fades out]
[Richie] This is my first time
in the Jackson household.
- [Jackson] That's when you do Vegas?
- [laughter]
[gentle piano music playing]
[Richie present] I realized
we'd never written anything together,
and we've never spent time together.
- [Jackson] However you wanna do it.
- [Richie] Doesn't bother.
- [Jackson] There's a choice.
- [Richie] I've got 'em.
- This is the Sonny & Cher team, hear this.
- [Jackson chuckles]
I realize he can't play,
so he hums every part,
tapes and tapes of "dum, dum, dum, dum,
dum, dum, dum, dum..."
Excuse me? I mean, it's just layered
and layered of him humming.
It was pretty... amazing.
[ambient music playing]
[Richie] We had to identify right away
what kind of song do we want.
[stamping in time to music]
Oh, don't you need me?
Do you want one of those?
Or do you want an anthem?
[stamping, vocalizing
"The Star-Spangled Banner"]
No. That's not what we were looking for.
[stamping, vocalizing "Rule Britannia"]
There it is. There's your template.
And once you have that,
now what are we gonna put on top of it?
We went through various songs
we thought were just sausage.
His line was, "Where's the jelly?"
He called me "Lion-el."
[impersonates Jackson]
"Lion-el, I want you to check out
Bubbles the chimp."
But I don't wanna hold the chimp.
Meanwhile, there's a full-on fight
going on downstairs.
[impersonates a dog]
"Shut up. Shut up. Shut up."
"Shut up! Shut up!"
"What's happening
in the kitchen, Michael?"
He says, "Ah, yeah, Ricky the mynah bird
is having a fight with the dog."
'Cause the bird can talk,
and the dog is mad at the bird.
Meanwhile, I've got someone calling
on the phone.
"Lionel, they're sending a script over
for the American Music Awards."
Michael's, of course,
working on his songs,
and we're really not taking it
that serious, because we'll get to it.
There are ways to make this thing
bigger and bigger and bigger
in terms of what it can generate, and, um...
[Sternberg] We didn't have a song,
and we didn't have a date,
but, because we had
Stevie, Lionel, Michael, and Quincy,
Ken realized that they had dynamite,
and they could call anybody.
It would be epic.
[ambient music playing]
Back then, we had no technology.
We didn't have cell phones.
Things didn't move quickly.
Thankfully, Ken's Rolodex was massive.
I used to travel with a gigantic suitcase
that was just Rolodexes.
[Kraken] I said to Belafonte, "We oughtn't
just limit this to the Black artists."
He said, "Sure. That's a good idea."
I said, "I represent Kenny Rogers
who would, I think, do this in a minute."
[Sternberg] Kenny Rogers
was a really big deal,
and we asked the other artists
that we had on our roster,
like Kim Carnes and Lindsey Buckingham,
but any artist schedule
takes months of planning.
Everything is a logistical nightmare.
[TV presenter] Monday,
it's the American Music Awards!
Three hot hours of the best
of country, soul, and rock and roll!
Lionel Richie hosts
the American Music Awards,
live, Monday at 8/7 Central.
[Sternberg] Because Lionel was hosting
the American Music Awards,
we looked at that date
and realized that would bring
so many artists into Los Angeles,
expenses paid,
plotted already on their schedules.
That was the pivotal point
where it was like, "Who's coming to
the American Music Awards, Larry Klein?"
['80s-style music playing]
Back then, the American Music Awards
was a big fuckin' deal.
I had Diana Ross and Hall & Oates.
I mean, I had these people booked.
Prince was, Madonna was, and Cyndi Lauper.
[Kragen] I'm currently after Hall & Oates.
[Klein] Ken Kragen called me.
He said, "I wanna put together
a group of superstars,
as many people as I can get,
to be on the song."
But to get these people in a room
recording together,
it had to be the night of the AMAs.
There was no choice.
[Sternberg] It was less than a month.
We were looking at the top charts
and saying,
"Who could sell the most records?"
[Richie] Please welcome
his Royal Badness, Prince!
[Klein] Prince was one
that they wanted badly.
He had "Purple Rain."
What are you looking forward
to seeing in this film?
Anything more specific than that?
- And anything else?
- Prince.
[interviewer laughs]
[Sternberg] Prince was in love
with Sheila E.
Sheila E!
[Sternberg] She was his percussionist,
and she was also a great singer.
['80s-style music playing]
[Sternberg] I think we needed
a little bit of everything.
[Rees] Steve Perry, the lead singer
of Journey, had the third-highest single.
[Sternberg] I wanted Madonna.
"Material Girl"
and all of the things she did
would bring a really different audience,
but Ken wanted Cyndi.
We had a fight about that.
Can you get my Barbie doll?
[present] I felt, you know,
it was an important thing to do.
I do believe
that rock and roll can save the world.
Or we should try.
[Kragen] The next really critical move
I made was to go after Springsteen.
Born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A...
Okay. This chair?
- Okay.
- [music fades out]
1985, I was... top of the world! [laughs]
Yeah, we were very popular,
and we had a great tour.
Can't start a fire, you can't start...
[Sternberg] Springsteen was a rocket ship,
but he wasn't going to the AMAs.
Even if we're just dancing in the dark
[Kragen] We called Springsteen's manager,
Jon Landau,
and he said to me, "Look,
he's finishing the tour the night before."
"He never, ever flies
the day after a concert."
He said, "Let me talk to him,
and we'll see."
[music fades out]
[Springsteen] Famine relief was important.
I knew it hadn't been addressed, you know,
and you're always sitting there like,
"What can I do about it?" You know?
It was a little soon.
I normally wouldn't have done it,
but it looked important.
Then it was like,
"Well, you have Bruce Springsteen."
"You could call Bob Dylan."
The answer my friend
Is a-blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind
[Klein] It was Bob Dylan.
He was doing "Blowin' in the Wind."
When hasn't he been a legend?
[man] Bob Dylan was known as
the concerned musician.
He'd be a more natural fit than anyone,
but the mid-'80s
was maybe not the best period for him.
Maybe a preacher
With your spiritual pride...
But, you know, he's Bob Dylan.
He's an enigma. [chuckles]
[Sternberg] Once Bob Dylan
and Bruce Springsteen committed,
it was just a wish list.
I know David Byrne was unavailable.
Van Halen was unavailable
because they were on tour.
I wanted Bette Midler.
I wanted Dan Aykroyd.
[man] How I heard about it
was that Michael called me and said
that he was planning on doing a big event
and would I wanna be a part of it?
I wasn't that aware
of what was going on in Africa,
but at that time,
whatever Michael did turned to gold,
so, of course, it was a no-brainer.
Man, we got the most beautiful artists
in the world.
Would be awful to produce the record
with this many great people on it
and it not work
'cause you don't have the right song.
We've got the cast now.
Now we need a script.
[Richie] Michael and I
thought we had all the time in the world.
We were kiddin' around...
- [Kragen] This project...
- [Richie] Kragen calls.
...I can hardly sleep.
I'm so excited about the project.
"Well," he said, "there are
a lot of people waiting on this song."
"It's not just the four of you."
"Oh my God."
[dynamic music playing]
[Richie] He said,
"I think we have Billy Joel." [trills]
"And we got Willie."
"I think we have Tina. Huey Lewis,
Paul Simon, Diana Ross, Ray Charles."
That's just pressure, pressure, pressure.
"And we're gonna do this
the night of the American Music Awards."
"What are you talking about?"
And then Quincy comes by.
Yeah. Here we go.
So Quincy, very quietly,
just said, "I need a song."
[music fades out]
[Richie] You have to understand
the severity of this situation.
The American Music Awards
are coming up next week,
and Quincy has been
basically rendered null and void
until we have a song.
I don't know how it happened after that.
We were just possessed.
[piano music playing]
[Richie] Throwing things out
and whatever felt good.
I came up with a few chords.
Say da-da, and all God's family
We want it now
Da-da, and for all time
Michael said, "Whoa, whoa."
Da, na, na, na. Da, na, na
Da, na, na, na
On top of Da, na, na, da, da, da
[snaps fingers] Magic.
[Michael Jackson vocalizing]
We now have a template with mumbles
and no words.
"We are the world"
was probably a line from Michael.
[Jackson] We are the world
We are the children
"We are the what?" "We are the..."
"We are the one...
We are the ones who make a brighter..."
Out of the corner of my eye...
I see some albums falling over.
[unsettling music playing]
And I hear... [long sigh]
[long sigh]
"What the heck?
What the hell is that? What the... What..."
I look over my shoulder. [clears throat]
There's the biggest frickin' snake.
Michael's going... [imitates Jackson]
"There he is, Lion-el. Oh my God."
He lost the snake in the room.
He came out... [imitates Jackson]
"when he heard us singing, Lion-el,
and he wanted to meet you.
He wants to say hello to you."
I mean, that's... [laughing]
"I gotta get outta here quick!"
I am screaming like it's, it's, it's...
This is the end.
I saw this horror movie,
and it's not good for the brother.
[driving rock intro playing]
[Sternberg] It was a very hectic lead-up
to the recording session,
and the location was a really big deal.
[Kragen] This paper
is highly confidential.
The single most damaging leak
of information
is where we're doing this.
[Sternberg] We scouted
every single studio in Los Angeles,
and A&M Studios had everything.
A great location.
The sound is phenomenal.
[Kragen] The moment that becomes
public knowledge,
if that shows up in the press,
that could totally destroy the project.
The moment a Prince, a Michael Jackson,
a Bob Dylan drive up
and see a mob,
they will never come in.
[Breskin] Kragen was really worried
about this leaking,
and they were so paranoid about it.
[Kragen] We've had numerous leaks
of information regarding this event
that have not made it any easier to do.
- Did you ever trace where the leak was?
- [Sternberg] Internal.
- [Kragen] Internal here?
- [Sternberg] Gotta be careful.
[Ivory] This was the biggest thing
happening in pop music right here in town,
so you couldn't keep it that big a secret.
[funk music playing]
[music ends]
[piano playing]
[Richie] Michael and I
had finished writing the song,
and finally turned it in to Quincy.
"Does he like it?"
That's the first question.
[Jones] Jesus Lord.
I listened to it at the house
and absolutely fell on the floor.
You know, I mean, fell...
I mean, it was so right.
I was so happy. I mean,
it's like, "Thank you, God," you know?
He loves it. Okay. Now,
we needed to put the demo down
so that the rest of the artists will have
an idea of what the song sounds like.
[Richie vocalizing]
[piano playing]
- [man 1] The other one.
- [man 2] Ah!
My name is Humberto Gatica.
I was asked to be the engineer
in charge of this entire project
by Quincy Jones.
[phone ringing]
[piano playing]
- Hello? How you doin', Louis?
- [piano arpeggio plays]
Man, are you kiddin'?
[random piano chords playing]
Okay, so we've got Michael
and Lionel over here.
We're getting ready to cut the track.
We're gonna cut the basic now.
One, two, three.
[Richie] We can't go on
Pretending day by day
Someone, somewhere
Will soon make a change...
[Gatica] The idea was
to make something simple
because it was all about the singing,
about what these voices
were gonna bring to this production.
We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones that make a brighter day
So let's start givin'
[Jackson] Sorry, one more.
Sorry, one more.
[Richie] "It's true we make a better day."
I love that, man!
[Jackson] It just seemed
so natural to say "brighter" again.
[Richie] You get a stronger feeling,
though, if you use another word.
- [Jackson] You think so?
- [Richie] Yeah.
Right in the middle of the session,
in walks
He thought we were writing the song.
And so Quincy said, "I'll talk to him,"
and Quincy took him down the hall
to tell him, "We've finished writing it."
"We're already putting the demo down."
Of course, Stevie was,
"Oh, okay," you know?
- ...chance we're taking
- [Richie] "We're taking our own lives."
We're taking our own lives
- [Richie] "It's true we make..."
- It's true we make a brighter day...
[Richie] You could see the shock was,
"How come somebody didn't tell me?"
Well, yeah, we did. We...
Three weeks, you know?
But, at that moment,
the baby was about to get born.
[Jackson] When you're down and out
There seems no hope at all
But if you just believe
You know that nothing can fall
Do they realize
That change is gonna come
When we stand together as one...
[Richie] Tomorrow,
we gotta get lead sheets, a letter,
and the cassettes out to all the artists.
- [Wonder] Can I get it Monday sometime?
- [Richie] Of course.
[Jones] I must have my tape by tomorrow.
It's imperative.
[driving '80s music playing]
[Sternberg] I got a stack
of 50 cassette tapes
that went to managers.
Some of them went directly to artists.
[Lewis] It was an interesting time.
We had just had our first big hit record,
and I received the tape,
the cassette tape in those days,
of the song and the invitation,
and I played the demo in my car.
I'd never met Lionel or Michael,
so, you know,
it was just an amazing invite to get.
And then, I remember thinking,
"Oh yeah, this... this is gonna be a hit."
I remember how I heard about it
'cause Lionel called me.
Lionel was my brother-brother.
So that was it. That was enough for me.
I didn't have to be coaxed
or anything like that.
[Loggins] Quincy's office sent me a copy.
I listened to it a couple of times,
and it definitely had a memorable chorus.
[Springsteen] When I first heard it,
I thought it was very broad, you know,
as music that's gonna carry
all those voices usually has to be,
so I said, "Okay, that's... that's cool."
[Lewis] In the letter that was sent out,
one of the lines was blacked out.
[Jones] That was where it was.
It says that A&M studios...
Ken said, "No, you can't let anybody
know it's there, man."
For him to give me details at that time
would be... unnecessary.
I, like many artists that I know,
don't remember shit. [chuckles]
[phone rings, stops]
[man] Quincy called me,
and he said, "We're gonna do a new song,
but I want you to handle the voices."
He said "Come on over. I wanna talk to you
about it. We haven't got much time."
[gospel music playing]
[Bahler] Quincy and I met back in 1973.
I was a white boy
raised in a Black gospel church.
Quincy heard some arrangements
that I had done for Sarah Vaughan,
and he invited me to his home,
and he came to the front door,
and he looks up, and he goes,
"You're not white."
- [ambient music playing]
- And that started us off.
We artistically fell in love
and became brothers,
but Quincy was the general.
[music intensifies]
[Richie] We ended up at my house.
Tom Bahler was there, with Quincy,
and they're in my living room.
They had a fan.
They had names
of all of the artists on the floor.
Now, we have to go through the process
of the arrangement of the vocals.
We had to select who's gonna do the solos,
which only have a half a line to sing,
and it has to be your sound,
your style, your key in a half a line.
["Born in the U.S.A."
playing indistinctly]
[Bahler] I started listening to
every artist that was gonna sing a solo...
[music intensifies]
...looking for differences, contrasts.
Born down in a dead man's town...
[Bahler] The Boss has a dirty sound.
And I thought of Kenny Loggins next.
Loose, footloose...
[Bahler] Kenny has a clean sound
that was perfect after Springsteen.
Shake it, shake it for...
[Breskin] Bahler was studying
people's vocal ranges
because he wanted to make sure
they would be really comfortable
with what they had to sing.
[Bahler] Having worked with Tina before,
I put her very low
because she's got such warmth down there.
["What's Love Got to Do with it" playing]
["Don't Stop Believin'"
by Journey playing]
[Bahler] And then you go to Steve Perry.
His range, I mean,
he's electrifying in that place.
[Bahler] Cyndi, her voice is forceful.
Even in "Girls Just Want to Have Fun."
["Girls Just Want to Have Fun" cross-fades
into "The Heart of Rock & Roll"]
Oh God, I Love Huey,
but not every artist
was gonna sing a solo.
[Breskin] Also, he was worried about
who they were gonna be standing next to,
and that led
to some interesting discussions
about how people were gonna get combined.
[Richie] I thought what we were gonna do
was have everybody come in,
one by one, go in the booth, sing it.
Quincy says, "No, no, no. We'll be here
for the next three weeks."
"We'll put a circle in the room
of all mics,
and everyone will sing it
looking at each other."
[gentle piano music playing]
[Jones] Some of these artists
are troublemakers.
[Bahler] There were people in there,
troublemakers. Cyndi Lauper was one.
Stevie Wonder is another one.
[Jones] I'm not afraid,
but it's just deep water, man.
[Bahler] Quincy said, "Let's start
at the beginning. What's gonna happen
when they come in the studio?"
We need to be able to handle
whoever comes in,
and we wanted no downtime.
This has gotta be seamless
because if we stop for a minute,
this thing's gonna be chaos.
[Richie] I'm looking at these names.
Great artists.
And I was one of them.
[music intensifies, ends]
"What am I doing? What... What...
And what on Earth
am I doing here?"
It's pretty daunting.
And then, all of a sudden...
it's time.
[dramatic '80s music playing]
[Sternberg] I was at the Shrine Auditorium
when Lionel arrived in the early morning.
Your artist is hosting
the biggest prime-time show on a network,
when network TV
was the only thing that was happening.
We really worried about Lionel.
I tell you right now, there's more dialog
than I've ever handled before in my life.
It's fun though. Lot of fun.
It's always an exciting show,
and I'm looking forward to it.
If I can stay awake!
[Sternberg] But also,
we have the setup for the studio.
[man] I got the call
to volunteer to light it.
I was able to get some friends
in the lighting industry to volunteer,
and I got the equipment for free.
To be honest with you, I don't think they
even knew who was actually gonna come.
[optimistic '80s music playing]
[Sternberg] There was a lot of questions
about artists who didn't come to the AMAs.
[woman] I was called by Quincy Jones.
All he said was, "You will be
in Los Angeles tomorrow night,"
and I said, "No, I won't.
I'll be in Las Vegas."
[Dickinson] Stevie was in Philadelphia,
two o'clock, the day of the event.
We'll be seeing you in the summer!
[Dickinson] Bruce Springsteen
had just finished his tour in Buffalo.
I'd heard what the weather was about
back there. So we got nervous.
[fans screaming]
[Richie] You realize that you have
no control of what's happening right now.
It was an evening
where you just... you're floating.
Hi, I'm Lionel Richie.
Tonight, we're back
at the Shrine Auditorium
in Los Angeles, California
for the American Music Awards!
Look out! We're gonna be running
with the night! Whoo!
[upbeat funk music playing]
[Klein] Lionel, that night,
he had his responsibilities as a host.
He's the leader of the show.
Nothing! Nothing will ever
be the same after tonight.
[Klein] He performed twice,
and he swept the awards.
Lionel Richie!
- Lionel Richie!
- Lionel Richie.
- Lionel Richie.
- Lionel Richie!
- Lionel Richie.
- "Hello."
I think I won six awards
that night while hosting.
I forgot, I'm working here.
[Klein] When he was backstage,
he was talking about "We Are the World."
But you only got 30 seconds.
Gotta be back on the stage.
1984 saw her explode into a solo career
with her new album, The Glamorous Life.
Just wait till you see Sheila E.!
["The Glamorous Life" playing]
[Sheila E.] At that time,
I was on the Purple Rain Tour.
It was nonstop.
By the time I got to the AMAs,
I... I was delirious.
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
Sing it!
La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la...
[present] And I was nervous as heck.
I looked into the audience,
which is the wrong thing to do,
'cause you look at the first five rows,
you're like, "Oh my God!"
Come on, everybody, sing it!
[present] I remember Lionel telling me,
"After the AMAs,
everyone's gonna go sing this song,
and I want you to sing one of the verses."
And so I was like, "Oh, absolutely."
- [music ends]
- [thunderous applause]
[Sheila E.] Lionel had said he was hoping
Prince would also sing a verse.
I was like, "Cool, but, you know,
he's gonna do it on his own time."
[applause continues]
And now, let's see what record
will make it as Favorite Black Single.
Nominees are Prince, "When Doves Cry,"
Michael Jackson, "Thriller."
In a couple categories,
it was Prince versus Michael.
The rivalry was real.
It would be great if Michael and Prince
were together singing.
It was a great statement to make,
that even these two guys,
"For saving lives,
we can come together to do this."
"When Doves Cry," Prince.
[Klein] Prince,
his bodyguard's name was Chick,
and Chick was scarier than hell!
He was just a massively huge person,
and when Prince would win an award,
Chick would walk up onstage with him.
[rapturous applause]
No one's gonna attack him
walking up on stage!
Well, maybe that's different nowadays.
[audience cheers]
[Klein] Prince won those big awards.
Michael didn't.
Michael wasn't there of course.
He was at A&M Studios doin' his thing.
[Jackson acoustic] As God has shown us
By turning stone to bread Hmm.
- [Jones] Michael?
- Yes?
[Jones] "There's a choice we're making.
We're saving our own lives."
Could you just leave that line
out of the chorus, please?
So leave out "There's a choice..."?
Can somebody bring me a lyric?
I'll leave it out,
but I... I just might forget.
[Gatica] The first person
who showed up here was Michael Jackson.
Put him right in the middle of that room.
We're using a C12 microphone.
Can we take one?
[Gatica] He got himself
that he felt
that he was in sync with the music.
[Jackson humming]
...your love
So they know that someone cares
[Bahler] Could we just have balance
before he holds the note from there?
- Without the track?
- Sure.
[Dickinson] I was here,
adjusting some lights,
and Michael Jackson is listening,
and he suddenly sings...
We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start givin'
[Dickinson] This is
the most remarkable voice
I have ever heard in my life.
We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start givin'
[giggles] Sorry.
I didn't say "better." I kept on saying
"brighter" and "brighter." I forgot.
[interview] When I was asked
to write this by Quincy
about, you know, for world hunger,
I put my heart and my soul into it.
We'll make a better day
[interview] say something
because... [chuckles]'s so much easier
for me to talk through the song.
That's really my statement.
Quincy, do you think...
Uh, I'm saying, "you..." Should I say,
"you and me" or "you and I" at the end?
- [Jones] I like, "you and me."
- Okay.
- It's much more soulful.
- [Jones] More soulful, yeah.
- Yeah.
- [Jones] Country, man.
- Yeah. Country.
- [Jones] Love it, man.
That's what it's all about.
[Breskin] What was so interesting
about Michael
is that, originally,
Michael only wanted to write a song.
[Jones] At first, Michael
didn't wanna sing or be on the video.
He thought it was overexposure at first.
I talked Michael
into being on the thing, you know?
That would've been
one of the biggest mistakes of his career
if he hadn't showed up.
There's a...
[Jones] But he was there, man.
He was more than there.
- [Jackson] How did it sound?
- [Jones] Sounds great, man.
[engineer] Fantastic, Mike.
[applause fading in]
[announcer] Still to come,
exciting performances by Tina Turner,
Cyndi Lauper, and Prince.
[Klein] Kenny Kragen was at the show,
in the first row,
and every time it went to commercial...
Kenny... Kenny leapt out the seat
and ran backstage.
You stay in your seat, babes.
You stay in your seat.
I went to him, and I said,
"We have a situation happening here."
Cyndi Lauper.
[raucous applause]
[Richie] Backstage,
Cyndi Lauper came over to me and said,
"My boyfriend heard the song."
"I'm not gonna be able to come,
because he doesn't think it's a hit."
[Lauper] Well, nobody knew.
It certainly was a group of great people,
but I was so punch-drunk tired.
Well, it's some year, huh?
[present] And after the show, it was like,
"All right, you have to just go there."
[Richie] I said, "Cyndi,
it's pretty important
for you to make the right decision."
"Don't miss the session tonight."
[applause continues]
What a night!
What a night!
[Klein] I said to the artists,
"Don't hang out here."
"Hit the road and get to A&M Studios."
[ambient music playing]
[anchor1] Can you talk about your feelings
about this record being made tonight?
[Richie] I don't know what's happening.
Quincy's over there biting his nails.
I wanna get over there and find out.
- I don't know. Yeah.
- [anchor 1] And the name of it?
"We Are the World."
[anchor 2] There's a rumor that Prince
and James Brown may be included in this.
- No comment.
- [anchor 2] Why? Why not?
I'm not allowed to talk about it.
[man 1] Ladies and gents,
we have to move on. Thank you.
[Lewis] Thanks a lot, everyone.
When I left the AMAs,
I just knew there was a car there for me.
And then we show up.
I had no clue who was gonna be there.
[Warwick] I knew nothing about what
the project was till I got to Los Angeles.
Quincy means an awful lot to people,
and when he's doing a project,
it's something well worth being a part of.
[Gatica] Pretty much everything
was ready to go.
Quincy asked me for a piece of paper,
and he decided to write the greatest line.
"Check your ego at the door."
[man] I was lucky enough
to be one of the cameramen,
but I was just the rookie of the bunch.
I'd only moved out here
three years before.
The producer said, "Go out front.
They're gonna start arriving pretty soon."
[Richie] The question is
who was actually gonna show up.
["Party Animal" by James Ingram playing]
[2-way radio] We got Kenny Rogers
coming in.
[Loggins] When I arrived at the studio,
I realized it was the cream of the crop
of pop music for that time.
- [2-way radio] Ray Charles, car coming in.
- [man 1] Oh my God!
- [man 2] Bette Midler.
- [man 1] I think it is.
- [man 3] Christie Brinkley. Oh my gosh!
- [2-way] Anyone have eyes on Billy Joel?
It was overwhelming.
[music continues]
[Rees] Walkie-talkies
is how we communicated.
Who was showing up?
Who was here? Who just got here?
[2-way radio] Kim Carnes just arriving.
This guy pulls up across the street.
in this old Pontiac GTO.
Guy gets out and it's Bruce Springsteen.
I'm like, "Wow, it is on."
[Joel] "That's Ray. That's really him."
That's like
the Statue of Liberty walking in.
[excited chatter]
To me, Diana Ross was like, "Whoa.
We've hit a different echelon here."
[Sheila E.] I almost felt
like I was in a dream.
Everyone was a legend to me.
Bob Dylan? I mean, I think I just said hi
and walked away 'cause I was scared.
[Lewis] Nobody else was allowed
in the studio
except the artists themselves,
so nobody had assistants.
And then,
we get to interact with each other,
and that was really the thrill.
[Springsteen] It was intoxicating
just to be around that group of people.
[Lauper] I felt like I was underdressed.
I was worried.
I knew Billy Joel,
so I went right over to him.
[music continues]
[Robinson] Everyone felt the magic.
Everybody that you can think of
who was in show business at that time
is at that recording.
[Loggins] We're on the risers.
Paul is on one of the lower steps,
and he looks up,
and he goes, "Whoa. If a bomb lands
on this place, John Denver's back on top."
[music stops abruptly]
[indistinct chatter]
- It's beautiful. So beautiful, man.
- Incredible, isn't it?
[Loggins] We could feel the energy
in the room was really high.
[Richie] Ray and Willie
are gonna do some singing.
[Loggins] But at the same time,
under it is a low hum of competition.
The egos were still there.
Let's not pretend that they weren't there.
[Dickinson] Celebrities can be
very difficult
when they're surrounded
by managers, agents, and glam squad,
but they were not in that environment.
[whimsical music playing]
[Dickinson] The biggest stars in music
found it disarming.
They seemed almost timid.
[Richie] It was like
first day of kindergarten.
Okay, guys.
Can we have everybody clear out
so we can make...
- [raucous chatter]
- Please.
Hello. Hello. Hello.
Listen. Guys. Guys.
[Richie] Quincy had to
pull all of these kids together.
[chatter continues]
First, I'd like you to meet Bob Geldof
who is really the inspiration
for this whole thing.
This is the man who put Band Aid together.
[woman] Game on!
And he just came back from Ethiopia,
and he'd like to talk to you.
Oh. Would I?
- [people laughing]
- [man] Sweet.
Um... Well, maybe,
to put you in the mood
of the song you're about to sing,
which hopefully
will save millions of lives,
I think it's best to remember
that the price for life this year
is a piece of plastic seven inches wide
with a hole in the middle.
And I don't know if we in particular
can conceive of "nothing."
But "nothing" is not having water.
On some of the camps, you'll see
15 bags of flour for 27,500 people,
and you see meningitis
and malaria and typhoid
buzzing around in the air,
and you see dead bodies
lying side by side.
And it's that that we're here for,
and I assume
that's why we're all here tonight.
And I don't want to bring anybody down,
but maybe it's the best way
of making what you really feel,
why you're really here tonight,
come out through this song.
So thanks a lot, everybody,
and let's hope it works.
[Breskin] Quincy is so savvy.
He used the Geldof speech to get people
to focus on what it was about.
"We're having a good time here, but, like,
I want you to put what you feel
into the song."
I'd just performed at the AMAs.
You know, everyone having a great time,
and then the reality
of him explaining why we're here,
you just kinda go, "Wow."
[Jones] Everything sung in this room
will be unison,
on each take,
on harmony parts and everything,
so we don't have to stumble
with harmony inside the room.
The first thing I like to do
is the lead to the choruses, okay?
[indistinct chatter]
Can we hear about four bars without...
but without the track? Acapulco!
One, two...
We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones
Who make a brighter day
So let's start givin'
Hold it, everybody, please.
[Bahler] If everybody could groove
from their knees instead of their feet.
We're getting an awful lot
of feet pounding on those risers.
[Gatica] The tension was there because
we're not gonna have a lot of time.
Technically, we need to be
really together, and we gotta move fast.
Once again, guys, please.
We are the world...
[Springsteen] We had to learn the song.
You know, you had to rough it out
and go over it. And, uh, it was like that.
...ones who make a brighter day
So let's start givin'
There's a choice we're makin'...
[Richie] The pressure was on us,
as the production group,
to make sure,
when we let Springsteen go home,
when we let all these guys go home,
it's done, right?
One night only
to get this right.
[Jones] Right, now,
we'll do that all the way through,
and up in the same octave
as Michael's singing it.
Everybody that can't sing it that high,
just lay out.
Just the high singers.
I don't wanna get octaves on this part.
We're gonna do low octaves later.
So, if it's too high for anybody,
they can just rest on the stack,
and then we'll come back
and put it away. Okay?
[woman] All right.
So we'll play...
We'll make a playback, and we'll start...
we'll start chopping wood, okay?
- [laughter, chatter]
- Can I hear it, Hum?
Everybody have cans?
We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones
Who make a brighter day
So let's start givin'
There's a choice we're makin'
We're savin' our own lives...
[Breskin] Bob Dylan knows himself
he's not a singer
in the way that Stevie Wonder is.
We are the world
We are the children...
[Breskin] So Dylan
was probably more uncomfortable
than any other person that was here.
[cheers and applause]
[people whooping]
[Jones] Somebody's
still singing an octave.
The octaves... We really can't do
the octaves on this take.
- [indistinct dialogue]
- [Jones] Huh?
- Just for them?
- [Jones] Yes.
Some of the singers were saying,
"That's not in my range."
- [man 1] How about you?
- [man 2] I can't do it.
[man 1] Can't, right?
[Loggins] If it was out of your range,
you're trying to figure out,
"Well, maybe I can sing a harmony,"
but they didn't want any of that.
They just wanted that solid unison.
[Bahler] There's a singers' old saying,
"Suck along quietly."
Sing it while it's in your range.
When it gets out of your range, stop.
You know, there are so many voices.
Nobody's gonna miss you.
[Jones] One, two, three.
We are the world...
[Dickinson] There's probably
60 or 70 people in the room.
It was getting pretty ripe.
My lights were big 5,000-watt,
fire-breathing instruments,
so it got very warm in here.
And that added to the tension.
[Woo] We had all the lighting guys
and four cameramen,
and so you had to be really careful
to not get your cables tangled up
and you had to be quiet.
[Bahler] Wait a minute. [whistles]
- [engineer] Guys, you gotta keep it down.
- [Bahler] You gotta keep it quiet.
We gotta stop making noise
in the takes, please.
[Richie] We're shooting the video
putting the song together
at the same time.
Can anything go wrong? Absolutely!
We were flying by the seat of our pants.
[tense dramatic music playing]
[Richie] The clock is ticking.
Quincy's worrying about the big picture.
My job was,
if there was any problems on the floor,
solve it.
- Maybe a change.
- No, I think it should be "brighter."
I feel like
everyone was singing "brighter."
- This is "brighter"?
- Not "better," "brighter."
Don't open a can of worms.
Stay with "brighter."
Wanna do "better" or "brighter"?
"Brighter" is the one
everyone's leaning to, right?
Lionel Richie is the guy
to bring everyone together.
[Richie] I'm walking around
each little camp putting out fire.
[Sheila E.] He was on adrenaline.
He was just nonstop,
but he's like that anyway.
He has stories to tell. "Let's do this."
"Let me tell you something."
He's making people laugh.
He's just making the water flow
in the right way.
One line you can never use in life.
"I'm not sure about this.
What do you think?"
"Better" has more bite.
[Richie] We have 47 artists.
If you say that, you'll have 47 different
versions of "We Are the World."
So my job was to make sure,
under no circumstances,
do we veer off what it is.
[Wonder] Ulimwengu
[inaudible dialogue]
[man 1] What are you doin'? What are you...
[Lauper] What is it? What does it mean?
[Wonder] That's the translation
for "We Are the World."
[indistinct dialogue]
Stevie said, "I think we need to have
some Swahili somewhere in the song."
"I think we should sing..." [speaks Swahili]
- In what language?
- [Wonder] Kiswahili.
Okay, thank you very much.
[man 2] One, two, three, four. One...
- [feet stamping rhythmically]
- [Wonder] Ulimwangu Latoto
Not "mwangu," "mwengu."
[all chattering, vocalizing]
[Gatica] If we do this,
we're gonna run out of time,
and if we run out of time,
it won't be good.
[Woo] I was in the corner of the room,
happened to be
pretty close to Waylon Jennings,
and I just heard him go...
"Well, ain't no good 'ol boy
ever sung Swahili. Think I'm outta here."
"I think I'm outta here."
["Good Ol' Boy"
by Waylon Jennings playing]
[Richie] Waylon walks out of the door.
"I'm not dealing with this.
I don't know what that means,
but I am not gonna say it,"
and we lost Waylon right there.
[man 1] We're listening now.
Listening now.
[music fades out]
[man 2] They don't speak Swahili, he says.
[Lewis] Someone said, "Stevie,
they don't speak Swahili in Ethiopia."
[Wonder] Well, there's a translation
in Swahili and a translation in Amharic.
You could see the potential
for a 17-car linguistic pileup.
[Geldof] I just think
that what you're trying to do is...
There's no point talking
to the people who are starving,
we're talking to the people
who've got the money to give.
And, you know, it's gonna... If it turns on
one person, it turns off two, maybe.
- [Jones] But what words do we use?
- [Geldof] I don't know...
- [Jones] If we don't have lines...
- ...but they speak Amharic.
[Jones] The problem is
we don't have any lyrics there.
The whole point is,
is it saying "we are the world"?
[Jones] What do we got, Smelly?
[Lewis] I remember at that point,
'cause I'm shadowing Ray Charles,
and Ray goes, "Ring the bell, Quincy!
Ring the bell!" [laughing]
Which meant, "Let's get goin' here."
[inaudible dialogue]
[Woo] A lot of people were getting
kind of impatient about it.
Everybody's tired.
People wanted to get on and get it done,
and I think that's kinda where
"sha-la sha-lin-gay" may have come up.
We are the world, sha-la
We are the children
We are the world, sha-la
This is what we're givin'
I guess it was Michael's idea
of how we can get something
cultural sounding in here.
[Jones] "Sha-la. Sha-lin-gay. Sha-la.
'Cause that's what they're giving."
[Robinson] Hey, wait, wait.
Excuse me. Excuse me.
[loud chatter]
One second. One second.
- [man 2] Hold it! Hold it!
- [wolf whistle]
[chatter stops]
What we're saying is,
"'Cause that's what we're giving."
What's what we're giving?
[Robinson] I'm one of the few people
who'd say anything to Michael.
- Doesn't make sense.
- [man 3] "So let's start giving."
Yeah. "So let's start giving"
would be better.
[present] I've known Michael Jackson
since he was ten years old
when he first came to audition
to be a Motown member.
He was singing and dancing
his butt off at ten years old.
Wait, what do you wanna do?
[Robinson] Michael's one of
the greatest artists we've ever had.
One of the greatest songwriters ever.
So people were afraid to say,
"No, we shouldn't do that,"
or, "That don't sound good."
Well, you tell me
what "sha-la sha-lin-gay" means!
[Robinson] When you grew up in Motown,
that's how we did each other,
and we all love each other.
[Jones] Does everybody
like the lyric "one world"?
- [various] Yeah!
- [man 1] It's great.
- [Jones] "One world."
- [Lauper] "One world."
[Richie] "One world, our children.
One world, so let's start giving."
- Yeah.
- [Richie] Everybody. [claps] Okay.
Guys, one minute.
Please don't change it
'cause my hearing's getting bad as well.
- Let's put it on the tape!
- [man] Well if you can, it's there.
- Hit it!
- [man] It's there.
[indistinct chatter]
All right, hit it.
One world
Our children
One world
So let's start givin'
[whooping, applauding]
[Richie] Finally,
we finished singing the chorus.
You know it!
And Quincy
wants to say thank you to Harry Belafonte.
[Jones] Remember the guy who started
this whole thing, Harry Bela...
[all laughing cheering]
[Richie] Then, all of a sudden,
the most amazing thing happens.
- Day
- Day
- Day
- Is a day-o!
Daylight come and me wanna go home...
[Robinson] Harry Belafonte was
the most inspirational person
for all of us who were there.
Is a day-o!
Daylight come and me wanna go home...
[Bahler] Al Jarreau
started singing Harry Belafonte's song.
All of a sudden, everybody jumps in.
Daylight come and me wanna go home
I drank too much, I have to say
Daylight come and me wanna go home
[Wonder] But you have to be driven home
By me or Ray
Daylight come and me wanna go home
Sing day-o, day-o, sing day-oh
Daylight come and me wanna go home
[descending into laughter]
Daylight come and me wanna go home
- [man trills]
- [all cheering, applauding]
[wolf whistle]
[mouthing] Thank you.
[playing "We Are the World"]
[Richie] In between the breaks,
Ray would play another version
of "We Are the World,"
the gospel version,
the "Georgia on My Mind" version.
And so, at that moment,
I overhear Ray and Stevie talking.
And Ray says,
"I got to go to the bathroom,"
and then Stevie said,
"I'll show you where it is."
He just grabbed him by the arm
and they walk,
and everybody said,
"The blind really is leading the blind,"
and we were all just bursting laughing.
Fish burger. Fish burger! [vocalizing]
[Gatica] People were hungry.
- [man 1] Summertime
- [man 2] Waffles are ordered in-house.
[woman] Chicken and waffles!
Smothered chicken and waffles!
[Gatica] Everybody was ordering chicken
and waffles, you know, from Roscoe's.
And I never seen anybody who eats chicken
better than Lionel Richie.
He eats the last little piece of bone.
[sucks] He sucks it up, and he eats,
and he puts them on top of the other one,
so when he finishes, he has all these
little bones all layered properly.
I said, "Brother, there's nobody that
can eat chicken better than you." [laughs]
[Bahler] When that break came,
Diana walks up to Daryl Hall
with her music in her hands
and says, "Daryl, I'm your biggest fan."
"Would you sign my music for me?"
And we all looked around
and said, "Holy moly!"
[Woo] Soon as she did it, it just started
happening all over the room.
[Sheila E.] Seeing Cyndi Lauper
asking Lionel or the Boss,
you know, that's dope that they wanna
get each other's autograph.
And then, they come and ask me,
and I'm like, "They want my autograph?"
Like, "Wow, that's really cool," you know?
And so I called Prince to let him know
how it was going.
I said, "I think maybe you should come."
"It's pretty cool,
and, you know, everyone's hanging out."
"We're having a great time."
[funk music playing]
[Richie] I'm now on the phone with Prince.
He's at Carlos 'n Charlie's.
He said, "I... I... I want...
I wanna play a guitar solo."
"In another room."
I said, "No, no, no, it's...
We're all in the same room."
"I need you to come and sing."
[Jones] He wants to put a guitar,
you know, and we just happen
to not need guitar on it.
[Sheila E.] It was getting late.
I was looking forward
to singing one of the verses,
but they kept asking, "Well,
do you think you can get Prince here?"
I'm like, "Wow, this is weird."
And I just started feeling like,
"I feel like I'm being used, to be here,
because they want Prince to show up,
and the longer they keep me,
maybe Prince will show up."
[Dickinson] I'm sure they were waiting
for his limousine to pull up,
but he didn't show up.
I already knew he wasn't gonna come,
'cause there was too many people,
and he would feel uncomfortable.
I told Lionel, I said, "I'm gonna go."
They never intended
on having me sing a verse,
which was a little bit... heartbreaking.
[Richie] We had done the hook,
so we're now going into the solos.
We are the world
We are...
We are the world. We are the children
Your two lines.
[Loggins] Michael came to me
and said, "Prince isn't coming,
so we have a spot on the line
that needs a soloist."
"Who do you recommend?"
And I said, "Huey Lewis."
[Lewis squawking]
[Loggins] Huey Lewis
has a great solo voice.
Somebody tapped me and said,
"Quincy wants you."
They brought me to Quincy. He says,
"Smelly, come over here. Get Michael."
And he said, "Sing the line for Huey."
There's no way we can fall
But if you just believe
No way we can fall
So now I get Prince's line. I mean,
those are pretty big shoes to fill!
- Yeah!
- Can I go now? Oh no.
From that moment on,
I was nervous out of my brain.
[man 1] Okay?
[Jones] We got a line and waiting here.
Parts, parts, all done.
[Richie] By the time
we really got down to do some solos,
some people were asking,
"Why does he have that part?"
Or "Why does she have that part?"
And the answer was, "It fits their range."
[Jones] You've got that line here.
"Let us realize..."
[Warwick] Quincy told me
who I was gonna sing with,
and I said, "Willie Nelson?
Hmm. Interesting."
I was certainly surprised.
[Lewis] We all gathered around the piano,
and Stevie Wonder's playing the song,
and we sang it acoustically.
As God has shown us
By turning stone to bread
[Lewis] And Stevie Wonder, you could see
the different voices register in his face.
So let's start givin'
[Lewis] About halfway through,
as he's playing,
he's going, "Wow. So many stars."
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me
[various] Yeah!
[Lewis] The first run-through
around the piano,
that's when we first heard
what it was actually gonna sound like.
I'll never forget. It was amazing.
To hear all those personalities
on that thing
for the very first time on that song...
Hair stands up on my back
just thinkin' about it.
[playful wind instrument playing]
[Bahler] We'd marked tape on the floor
with the names,
so it was a big U shape.
It started here
and went all the way around.
I remember going through
and counting them.
"Okay, there's gonna be three here,
there'll be two here."
I'm looking at this list of names
on the floor.
I'm like, "This is gonna be unbelievable."
[music intensifies]
[Lewis] Springsteen was here.
Testing, one, two.
I was right there.
Michael Jackson's right here.
I sing right after Michael.
[man] We got you covered.
- [all laughing]
- [Gatica] You know it's with me, right?
[Richie] That circle
was the intimidating circle of life.
Quincy was right.
When it's time for your part to sing,
you are going to give 200%
because the class is looking at you.
And to see everyone's preparation
and vulnerability
was pretty... amazing.
- You were on your game at that point.
- [music stops]
What we do is we have mics in front of us,
but what we'll do is
you lean in on your part.
And then, when the other person comes in,
when you duet with someone,
whatever the case is,
when your part comes up, lean in.
Don't sing back here. You sing back here,
we'll never know your words.
- Step in or lean?
- No. Come on in.
- Even though your name's back here.
- [man] Do your regular thing.
- D'you follow?
- [man] Yeah.
This is real recording. It's just...
The names are back there,
but the mics are up here.
- Come to the microphone!
- [Wonder] Are we ready to do it?
- [Richie] Let me know when you're ready!
- [woman] Ready!
[piano playing]
There comes a time
When we heed a certain call
When the world
Must come together as one
[softly] Can we do it again?
I messed my start.
- [music stops]
- [man] Okay.
Stevie says he's messed up.
[silly voice] Heh-heh!
I was flat. I was so flat.
How flat is that?
- Stevie messed up. How did he do that?
- [woman] Stevie.
- [Richie] Is that legal?
- Never!
[Lewis] Stevie screws it up playfully,
as only Stevie can.
Kinda almost on purpose,
kinda having fun with it.
Stevie was not nervous.
[Wonder] Never! I never mess my note.
- [Richie laughing]
- [huskily] It's my "thoat."
[Richie] Quincy raised his voice.
"We gotta get you there!"
He screamed at us.
[Jones] Please.
[Richie] I'd never seen him like that.
[silly voice] Quincy, Quincy, hey!
[piano playing]
[Gatica] Quincy Jones
was always very calm.
His only concern was time.
We got a lot to do.
Still a long way to go.
There are people dying
Oh, and it's time we lend a hand
To life, the greatest gift of all
- [Simon] Can I help?
- [high voice] It's good!
- [Simon] It's tough because we're...
- I just get...
[Simon] We're far...
We're far apart. Can I help?
[Wonder] Then you go...
Greatest gift of all...
And you go... All
Ah, that's my part.
The greatest gift of...
He's talking about switching parts.
I think I can do it.
- Switch parts with me?
- Step back, sing louder.
Just hard to sing it soft.
[Woo] It was 4 a.m. and they're singing
their most important part.
So you're gonna get a little testy.
You're gonna be a little tired.
[Simon] Gives me a weird jump,
though, after my melody, you know?
[Woo] In my camera, they're huge 'cause
I'm just right there underneath 'em.
You could reach out,
and you could touch that person.
They're just right there.
There are people dyin' ...
[Woo] I was a big fan of Paul Simon.
It's time we lend a hand...
[Woo] Here he is, right here.
He's singing in my face.
Greatest gift of all...
Kenny Rogers, when he hits that high note,
and he just squeezes his face up,
it's like, "God, he just..." [grunts]
You know love is all we need
[Woo] At the time, I was thinking,
"I can't believe people are paying me
to shoot this incredible stuff."
We're saving our own lives
It's true we make a better day
Just you and me
[Gatica] Dionne Warwick's turn was up,
and we had a little technical problem.
Won't you send them your heart
- Yeah?
- [Jones] Are you hearing your own voice?
- [Warwick] Yes.
- [inaudible dialogue]
[music continues]
- [music stops]
- Indiana. Who is she? Get her outta here.
There was a little panic technically here.
We have some issue
with some noise in the playback.
At one point, I said, "Whatever it takes,
we gotta get this shit going."
This is... We gotta take off again,
no matter what.
- [Richie] Is it still there?
- [Gatica] Yeah.
- [Rogers] Suppose it's leakage...
- Could be someone else's mic.
[Gatica] All the other tracks are off.
[Rogers] Then there's really
no excuse for this.
- [Jones] Find out what the problem is.
- Shoulda used my studio.
[Richie laughs]
We are the children
[music starts]
Whoa, just send them your heart
So they know that someone cares
- Still hearing the other voice.
- [music stops]
- [engineer] Sorry. It's a mystery.
- [Gatica] Ghosts!
- [Rogers] So who you gonna call?
- She... Ghostbusters!
[people laughing]
- [man 1] Aykroyd's in the echo chamber.
- [man 2] Aykroyd.
- [music restarts]
- [Gatica] It kinda put a little tension.
- It's gone.
- [Warwick] Yay.
[Jones] We found it that time
whatever it was.
[Gatica] It was a little tough,
but we went right back into our plan,
getting these vocals done.
It's getting to that time in the morning
where we must be as accurate as possible.
[engineer] Here we go.
As God has shown us
[Richie] Yeah.
By turning stone to bread
[Richie] Al.
[Lewis] It goes all the way through
to Al Jarreau, who messes up,
and so they go, "Boom,"
and so they start again.
Stronger and free
- We... As God has shown us
- As God has shown us
It's Al Jarreau, he was a little
over-the-top in... in the
in the alcohol section.
- And so we all m...
- [Willie] As God has shown us
[music stops]
Ha, ha, ha, ha.
I'm sorry. Oh man.
- [Warwick] That's Willie and me.
- [Jarreau] Right.
[Richie] Al was interesting.
Okay, I gotta tell you
the funny part about Al.
- [yelps]
- [sprinkled laughter]
[Jarreau squawks]
[Richie] Al wanted to celebrate
before we had done the song.
[Richie] He kept saying,
"Bring another bottle of wine in.
We're gonna celebrate."
So every time another bottle came in,
I took the bottle back out.
Stevie, can we have the keyboard first.
We're gonna have you
rehearse that little part.
We had to work very hard to get
Al's part on
before Al couldn't remember
what his part was.
So we all must lend a helping hand
[Richie] Right. Yes.
Right. Again for me?
- [Bahler] Just play the track.
- Please?
That's enough.
As... As it was there, it's enough.
[Gatica] Every time they go back
and rewind, it takes about five minutes.
So it's like you create a real tension
every time you rewind.
[Jarreau] By turning stone to bread
And so we all must lend a helping hand
We are the world
We are the children
"What do I do after Bruce Springsteen?"
It's like... What would you do?
And then I went
for a sweeter kind of soul thing.
We are the ones that make a brighter day
So let's start givin'
[Woo] Kenny Loggins was awesome,
and they got to Steve Perry
and Daryl Hall, and it was like,
"Oh my God."
There's a choice we're making
We're savin' our own lives
It's true we make a better day
Just you and me
- [man] All right!
- [woman] Hey.
Steve Perry can sing. [chuckles]
He's got that great voice,
up in that Sam Cooke territory.
[Jones] Gimme another one.
Gimme at least two more.
[Lewis] These guys are getting
three and four shots at their line.
Meanwhile, I'm over here on the end,
and I haven't even sung my line yet,
you know, and I'm freaked out.
[Lauper] I was watching
all of these people singing.
I just was trying to remember to breathe.
[Lewis] I said to Quincy and Humberto,
"Next time somebody screws up,
can you just kinda keep goin'
so we can rehearse our lines?"
"And the bridge?"
And he goes, "Oh yeah, okay, cool,"
and Michael, who was next to me,
says, "That's a good idea."
I said, "Thanks, Mike."
- [man 1] Go for the bridge now?
- [man 2] You wanna go bridge?
- To the bridge. Take me to the bridge.
- [man 3] To the bridge.
- [Lauper] To the bridge.
- [man 4] The bridge.
[engineer] Everybody to the bridge.
[man 1] Okay, Huey.
It's your turn. [laughs]
- [light laughter]
- [dull thud]
[producer] Boy, you are effing ready
to go home.
[Loggins] Just in case something
might fuck up, and let it roll. [laughs]
[Lewis] I mean, it was just one line,
but my legs were literally shaking.
[music restarts]
When you're down and out
And there seems no hope at all
But if you just believe
There's no way we can fall
Well, well, let us realize
Oh, that a change will only come
When we stand together as one
- We are the...
- [music stops]
[Jones] Do you want that in harm...
Do you want that last...
- Do you want that last one in harmony?
- Stand together as one
[Richie] That's so good. You want to
join her? The three of you join her on...
Stand together
- [Carnes] That'd be real neat.
- [Richie] Stand together as one
[Lewis] But then they said,
"Sing in harmony with Cyndi and Kim."
The demo didn't have
any harmony parts or any...
I'm gonna have to make something up here.
Make up a three-part harmony
in front of... [chuckling] ...Stevie Wonder,
Ray Charles, Kenny Loggins, Daryl Hall.
What am I supposed to sing?
That was very nerve-racking.
- [Carnes] one
- [Lewis] That's where I am.
- We, we-ee, we
- [man] Stand together
[Lewis] It's on "stand," isn't it? Yeah.
[Perry] What's yours?
[vocalizing] What's yours, Kim?
[Carnes] Stand together as one
- One
- [Carnes] One
[Perry lower] One Something like that?
I'm too burned out
to tell anybody anything.
[people laughing heartily]
[Lewis vocalizing, mumbling lyrics]
And just hit it.
[Lewis] When we all stand
Together as one!
[Lauper] One!
I'll try it.
It's high for me, but I'll try it.
When we... When we...
Well, well, well, let us realize
Oh, the change will only come
- When we stand together as one
- [Lauper vocalizing]
- We are...
- [music stops]
My fault. I was a bit out of tune.
I didn't go down.
[Richie] I thought Huey
was gonna blow his head off.
Cyndi can sing octaves, and poor Hugh
was hangin' on for dear life,
so he couldn't take too many of those.
I sang it out of tune
just to see if anybody would notice.
[people laughing]
[Bahler] Cyndi absolutely killed
that line, but there was something wrong.
Dude, listen to it. There's like
harmonic things happening when she sings.
It almost sounds like conversation.
They kept saying, "What's that noise?"
"What's that noise?"
[Jones] Play back the first part
of the other one, and then...
[Lauper's line plays back]
[Breskin] Humberto was going like,
"We have so much noise on her track.
What is going on?"
[man] The mic is dying.
You need to replace that mic.
[Gatica] No, the mic is beautiful.
The mic is beautiful?
[Gatica] There's nothing wrong
with the mic.
[man] The mic is beautiful.
Sounds like people are talking.
Or laughing or something.
Every time you sing.
Well, I don't think it's funny,
and you should stop laughing
when I'm singing because...
[Jones] Cyndi,
you have a lot of, uh, bracelets.
Oh! Is that...
Oh, my earrings.
That did not occur to me.
Oh, sorry.
Oh, I'm loaded.
- [raucous laughter]
- [Jones] There goes the whole outfit!
[Lauper] No. I'm sorry.
That's the chatter. Okay.
That's the talking.
[Richie] We needed that little moment
of laughter to bring us back down
before we rounded that corner.
[man] Do the same punch, though, Huey.
Right after Michael.
But if you just believe
There's no way we can fall
Well, well, well, let us realize
Oh, that a change can only come
- When we stand together as one
- Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!
[music stops]
- Oh, I hung over too much?
- [man] No! That's gold. That's gold.
[people applauding, wolf-whistling]
[Lauper] You got that?
It was a take! [squeaks]
[present] Because I devoted
my whole life to singing,
to be among those singers
and actually be a part of their community
was otherworldly.
[dynamic music playing]
[Jones] If we leave Ray's hole open.
Yes. He's much older than me, you know.
[Gatica] This left Bob Dylan
and Bruce doing the ad-libs.
[Dickinson] Quincy called it
"serious fills."
Like, "We're gonna do
the serious fills now."
[Gatica] Bring it down a bit, Bob.
Here he is, Bob Dylan.
- [Richie] "There's a choice we're making."
- Yeah. But... Yeah. Okay.
[Dickinson] He is a legendary,
iconic symbol
to Americans and the world...
[Jones] Quiet, please. Here we go. we were expecting
something amazing to happen.
[guide track playing]
[mumbling] ...our own lives
It's true we make a better day...
[engineer] Okay.
You got it. On a different track.
[clears throat]
[weakly] We're saving our own lives
It's true we maker a better day
Just you and me
Okay, you just have...
you have to run that...
- [engineer] Okay. Sure.
- ...back a lot of times.
[Woo] I think he was a little confused
because it just didn't seem like Bob
was understanding
how he was supposed to sing, or...
Is he supposed to be more like this chorus
or more like Bob Dylan?
[Jones] That's beautiful, and what's nice
is you singing along with the chorus too.
That's the only time we do an octave.
Like, that's beautiful.
- I get out right after "me," right?
- Just after "you and me."
The thing you were doing up there,
singing along with the chorus.
"We are the children." That's nice, man.
[Lewis] Quincy was amazing.
- [Dylan] Okay.
- [Jones] That's beautiful.
[Lewis] Production is interesting.
You gotta be more than a great musician.
You gotta be like a psychiatrist.
- [Jones] That's where he's goin' in on.
- Stevie. Can... Can he play it one time?
[Breskin] The secret agent to help him
get comfortable was Stevie Wonder.
[man] We're gonna
rehearse it in here first.
[piano playing]
[Breskin] Stevie
is an insanely great mimic.
[piano playing]
[impersonating Dylan]
There's a choice we're makin'
Savin' our own lives
It's a better day...
[Breskin] Stevie sang it ventriloquially
in Dylan's voice.
We're savin' our own lives...
[Springsteen] Stevie's one of those guys,
he can sing the phone book.
Anytime you're around him,
you're around a genius,
and he's also very sweet.
[Dylan laughing]
[Jones] Here we go, Bobby.
Must be in a dream, huh?
[Breskin] But at this point,
there were a lot of people in the room.
Still photographers and others.
Having all these people around, for Bob,
it's not the way he normally works.
- [wolf whistle]
- Yo! Yo!
Now, here's what we're gonna do!
[engineer] One last time,
if you're not in Bob's group recording,
please clear the room. Go.
[Breskin] Then it just became
Stevie at the piano
and Dylan at the microphone
and Quincy at his podium.
[Dylan] All right, man, let's do it.
There's a choice we're makin'
We're savin' our own lives
It's true we make a better day
Just you and me
We are the world
We are the children
[guide track continues]
[Richie screaming] Yes! Come on!
Yes! Yes! Ow!
I'm sorry. You did it.
- That wasn't any good.
- [Jones] I'm telling you, we got it.
That was fantastic.
- [Dylan] If you say so.
- [indistinct chatter]
[Dylan] I know you know.
[Jones] I swear it is, man.
It's perfect, man.
- All right.
- Perfect.
[Breskin] Springsteen came in
and said, "Nice, Dylan."
Called him "Dylan."
I'd listened to Dylan,
you know, since I was a kid,
and it was great to see him there
and have a little interaction with him,
so, uh, it was fun.
"The choice we're makin'.
We're takin' the... the..."
Is that the part
you're talking about? Great.
So this is... this is the end, right?
This is... We're in the end?
This is the end of the song, right?
- [Jones] Yeah.
- Okay.
One, two. [clears throat]
[Breskin] There was very serious concern
about Springsteen's voice.
I'll do a little bit. You tell me if it's,
you know... [clears throat]
Listen. It's like being a cheerleader
to the chorus.
- Okay.
- Know what I mean? Say, "Come on!"
- All right.
- Just get it on.
[Springsteen] I was just on
the Born in the U.S.A. Tour.
I was pretty tired.
- [man] Quincy, you ready?
- Mm-hmm. Yeah.
[engineer] Here we go.
[Springsteen] But I just started singing.
Choice we're makin' [coughs]
We're saving our own lives
It's true we make a better day
Just you and me
My voice was not great,
but I sung as best as I could.
We are the world
We are the children
So let's start givin'
There's a choice we're makin'
We're savin' our own lives
Did I get it right there?
- [Jones] Okay.
- [Springsteen] Something like that?
- [Jones] Exactly like that. Exactly.
- [mouthing] Okay.
[Jones] We're gonna redo that track.
- Okay, here we go.
- Right here and now?
[Loggins] Bruce is just
quintessentially Bruce on that thing.
Sounds like he's got broken glass
in his throat.
We are the world
- [guide track] We are the children
- We are the children
[guide track] We are the ones
Who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
So let's start givin'
[guide track]
There's a choice we're making
Oh, we're savin' our own lives
It's true we make a better day
Just you and me
[guide track] We are the world
We are the world
- [guide track] We are the children
- We are the children
[guide track] We are the ones
To make a brighter day
- So let's start givin'
- So let's start givin'
There's a choice we're makin'
Yeah, we're savin' our own lives
It's true we make a better day
Just you and me
[music stops]
[thunderous applause, wolf-whistling]
Thank you. Thank you.
Broke a legitimate sweat, that did.
- Yeah. Hell.
- You're officially on vacation.
- [Springsteen] I can go home?
- [man] You're on vacation.
- [Springsteen] That sounds good!
- [Richie laughs]
We got it.
All the hard work is done.
[Lewis] When it was over,
we were exhilarated
and exhausted to be sure.
We'd been up all night.
But even then, on the evening,
you knew that we'd done something
that was gonna live forever.
You killed it. And we...
And we made it through.
- [Jones] Is it okay?
- [Lauper] Yeah.
[poignant music playing]
[Jones] Lionel, we've got good solos
from everybody. It was perfect.
Okay, that's the bottom line.
We feel the same.
Oh good.
Trying to get 40 superstars together
in the same place at the same time
is impossible really.
That's why, all of a sudden,
when Springsteen said,
"Right after my show,
I'm coming to California."
Paul Simon, "I'm on my way."
Billy Joel, "I'm on my way."
Bob Dylan... [chuckles softly]
In this room, this family grew.
- [Woo] However you feel comfortable.
- [laughing]
[Woo] You can do an aerial shot.
- [man] Quince, where you gonna sit?
- [Jones] Right there.
Whoa, here it comes.
The adrenaline just took the train.
- The adrenaline just caught the bus.
- [man laughs]
[man] They basically said,
"That's it, guys. Wrap it up."
"Let's go home."
[Jones] Whoo! What a night!
I assumed this was a paying gig.
At the end, when I'm getting ready to go,
I had kinda like made up an invoice,
and they go,
"Invoice? There's no invoice!
This was all volunteer."
"Everybody here is a volunteer." I went,
"All right! Well, I got this cool T-shirt
and a great story, so, okay!"
[Bahler] And Diana Ross stayed
after everybody was gone.
And I hear her crying.
Quincy said, "Diana, are you okay?"
And she's like,
"I don't want this to be over."
It was the sweetest thing
I think I've ever heard.
- [poignant piano music playing]
- [birds twittering]
[Breskin] I think we left
about eight o'clock in the morning,
and Quincy doesn't drive,
so I drove him back
to his place in Bel Air.
It was a kind of exhilaration
mixed with exhaustion.
I remember Quincy saying like,
"Man, those white boys really brought it."
[Springsteen] I was exhilarated, you know.
It's just like when you finish a concert,
and you go home,
and you're just like,
"Yes, I... I nailed that."
"It was... I... I feel..."
You just feel good about it.
[Richie] At eight o'clock in the morning,
when I finally got home,
I walk in the house,
and there's my family,
congratulating me on winning the awards
and hosting the show,
and all I could talk about
was "We Are the World."
They kept saying,
"What are you talking about?"
I said, "Man,
'We Are the World' was amazing."
"I mean, last night, we did this..."
They don't know what we're talking about.
It was so big and so
That one night
overshadowed everything
that was going on in my life.
[radio noise]
[anchor] As you have heard on our own
KFI News this morning and elsewhere,
you have read and been told
that, in about one minute's time, at 7:50,
everybody in the world
is going to be playing the same song.
"We are the world. We are the children."
[anchor speaking Arabic]
["We Are the World" intro fades in]
[Jones] Because of technology,
we're talking about it reaching
the ears of a billion people.
When that kind of energy gets thrown out,
it's very, very, very powerful.
Music is a strange animal 'cause
you can't touch it, you can't smell it,
you can't eat it or anything else,
and it's just there.
Beethoven's Fifth just keeps
coming back at you for 300 years,
and that's very, very powerful,
spiritual energy.
There comes a time
When we heed a certain call
[Ivory] "We Are the World" was something
that everybody could understand.
Even if you didn't speak English,
you could understand the melody.
You could understand the feeling
of the song musically.
It's time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all
[Rogers] This is an inner soul,
an inner energy, that's coming from us
that was much greater than any record
any of us had ever done.
That someone, somewhere
Will soon make a change...
[Springsteen] People can look at the song
and judge it aesthetically,
but at the end of the day,
I looked at it like it was a tool.
It was a tool they were trying
to accomplish something with,
and, as such, it did a pretty good job.
We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start givin'
There's a choice...
[Ross] I think every individual
in the world wants to contribute,
and they don't know how.
I got a feeling
that we're creating a shift
in what's going on in the world today,
about helping other people.
It's compassion. It's real new.
Well, send them your heart
So they know that someone cares
And their lives
Will be stronger and free
As God has shown us...
[Richie] The whole world
singing your song. I mean, that's crazy.
In every language around the world.
It was one of those moments where you go,
"Oh my God. What have we done?"
We are the world
We are the children...
[anchor 1] The single has already
sold out its first million copies
the first weekend it's been on release.
[anchor 2] In the last month,
America's children
have made this record
dedicated to Africa's children
the fastest-selling single in US history.
It's true we make a better day
Just you and me
When you're down and out
And there seems no hope at all...
[Lewis] I heard the song
for the first time in my shower.
But if you just believe...
The record was amazing, and then
my line came, and it was okay, and I was...
...well, let us realize...
I am a part of something
that has been life-changing,
and it's very humbling.
When we stand together as one
[Lauper] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
We are the world
We are the children...
[Belafonte] The collective power
of artists can be very impacting.
If we all put our egos aside
in the service of people in the world
who are less fortunate.
We're truly all one people.
We are all in need of each other.
It's true we make a better day
Just you and me
[Kragen] This is the realization
of the dream of USA for Africa.
This is the beginning
of the second phase of our activities,
feeding people and saving lives...
[Dylan] It's true we make a better day
Just you and me
[all] We are the world...
[Belafonte] I take it one at a time.
Whether we can feed one person,
or we can feed one million,
the point is to get in.
So let's start givin'...
[Ivory] The ripple effect
that "We Are the World" had
was that everyone wanted to try and do it.
An artist suddenly realized that
they could now make a change in the world.
It's one of those things
that kids who haven't even been born yet
will know about
because it was a unity through music.
Your turn to sing!
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start givin'
There's a choice we're makin'
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me
[rapturous applause, cheering]
[inaudible dialogue]
["We Are the World" piano melody playing]
[Richie] My dad
said something to me years ago.
He said, "Enjoy coming home,"
because there's gonna come a time
when you can't go home.
I said, "Dad, what does that mean?"
He said, "Well, the house will be there."
"The people in the house won't be there."
This is that room.
[no audible sound]
[Richie] That's the board.
It's right in there, and
Humberto's not sitting behind it.
Michael Jackson was... right there,
in this room.
Springsteen did his part
right over there in that corner.
And Cyndi Lauper was right here.
[no audible dialogue]
[Richie] It's very special.
I think about this room
as my house.
[intro to "We Are the World" fading in]
This is the house
that "We Are the World" built.
There comes a time
When we heed a certain call
When the world
Must come together as one
There are people dying
Oh, and it's time
To lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all
We can't go on
Pretending day by day
That someone, somewhere
Will soon make a change
We're all a part of
God's great big family
And the truth
You know, love is all we need
We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones
Who make a brighter day
So let's start givin'
There's a choice we're makin'
We're savin' our own lives
It's true, we'll make a better day
Just you and me
Well, send 'em your heart
So they know that someone cares
And their lives
Will be stronger and free
As God has shown us
By turning stone to bread
And so we all must lend a helping hand
We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start givin'
Oh, there's a choice we're makin'
We're saving our own lives
It's true, we make a better day
Just you and me
When you're down and out
And there seems no hope at all
But if you just believe
There's no way we can fall
Well, well, well, let us realize
Oh, that a change can only come
When we stand together as one
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start givin'
There's a choice we're makin'
We're saving our own lives
It's true, we'll make a better day
Just you and me
There's a choice we're makin'
We're saving our own lives
It's true, we make a better day
Just you and me
[music stops]