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Netflix have released a new documentary about the making of ‘We Are the World’, titled The Greatest Night in Pop.
The feature length film, which is directed by Bao Nguyen, explores the creation of the track and the process of getting it recorded in 1985 by a roster of the most famous and successful musical artists of the era.
‘We Are the World’ was a charity single, released under the name USA For Africa. It was largely inspired by the runaway success of Band Aid’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ the previous year, and it became one of the biggest-selling singles of all time.
The song received four Grammy Awards and raised more than $80 million, which translates to over $200 million in today’s money, for humanitarian aid in Africa and the United States.
The Greatest Night in Pop is streaming on Netflix now, having received its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 19.
Many of the key figures involved in the development of the single are no longer alive, including Harry Belafonte, who had the original idea to attempt an American version of Band Aid, and Ken Kragen, a fundraiser who ended up helming the project.
Fans of pop music can revel in the extensive behind-the-scenes footage that the documentary shows, including from Kenny Rogers’ Lion Share Recording Studio, which was used to lay down the track in January 1985.
The record was produced by Quincy Jones, alongside Michael Omartian.
The soloists on the song were, in order of appearance:
In addition, a number of other musicians were included in the chorus of the song, including Belafonte, the Pointer Sisters, Bette Midler, the Jackson 5, Waylon Jennings, Smokey Robinson and Bob Geldof.