Madonna Wasn’t Invited: 10 Facts About the Making of “We Are the World”

Interested in the making of “We Are the World”?  You can watch that documentary “The Greatest Night in Pop” on Netflix now.  Here are 10 facts about that night to act as an appetizer:

1.  Harry Belafonte started it all.  At least it was his idea to do SOMETHING about hunger in Africa.  But they did base it on the Band Aid charity single “Do They Know It’s Christmas” from the UK, which came out first.

2.  Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie avoided any dated expressions when they wrote the song.  You know, thing like “right on” or “yo, dawg.”  They wanted to make sure the lyrics were timeless.

3.  It was recorded after the 1985 “American Music Awards”.  That’s how they got so many huge stars together at once.

4.  Prince was supposed to be there, but he no-showed.  People seem to think it was because of his rivalry with Michael Jackson.  And also, it just didn’t fit his “brand”.  He was at a Mexican restaurant while it all went down.

5.  Madonna was NOT invited.  Apparently, some of the organizers felt she wasn’t a good enough singer.  They went with Cyndi Lauper instead.  Sources say it “broke her heart.”

6.  Dan Aykroyd took part by accident.  He just happened to be talking to a talent manager that day, and the guy invited him to the recording session.

7.  Bob Dylan almost had a nervous breakdown.  He got all stressed out trying to figure out how to sing his part, when all they wanted was for him to sound like BOB DYLAN.

8.  Eddie Murphy missed his chance to be there.  Eddie was at Stevie Wonder’s studio recording his single “Party All the Time”.  Stevie asked him to come over, but he declined.  When he realized what he’d passed up, he felt like an idiot.

9.  Not everyone liked the song.  Billy Joel claims they ALL hated it, but nobody was willing to say so.

10.  “We Are the World” was a huge success.  It spent four weeks at #1, went quadruple platinum within a month, went on to sell 7 million copies, and helped raise $63 million.

(Mental Floss)