[[caption-width:250:At its time, this was a Who's Who of the Music Industry]]

--> ''There comes a time, when we heed a certain call''
--> ''When the world must come together as one''

In 1984, Ethiopia was struck by a famine, making headlines across the world. The famine also struck the conscience of the entertainment industry, with the release of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" by Band Aid that same year. Not long after, American entertainers decided to put together their own effort to raise funds and awareness for Ethiopia.

Enlisted by Harry Belafonte, Music/LionelRichie contacted Music/MichaelJackson, who agreed to perform and help with writing. Belafonte also contacted Music/KennyRogers, Music/StevieWonder and Music/QuincyJones, who assisted with conducting and producing the song.

Richie, Jackson, Wonder and Jones continued to tweak the lyrics up to the first recording session, and a special track was prepared for the performers who would be invited to perform on January 28. Included in the lineup were Music/RayCharles, Dionne Warwick, Music/BobDylan, Diana Ross, Music/BillyJoel, Music/PaulSimon, Music/BruceSpringsteen and Music/WillieNelson, with a vast choir that included Creator/DanAykroyd, Bob Geldof, Bette Midler, the Pointer Sisters and the rest of Jackson's family.

"We Are the World" was released on March 7, 1985, reaching number one on the R&B Singles Chart and Billboard Hot 100, and raising $10.8 million within four months. Since then, the record has raked in $63 million, put toward both short-term and long-term humanitarian relief projects, with 10% of the funds also being used for domestic hunger and homeless programs.

Twenty-five years on, in February 2010, a new version of "We Are the World" was recorded and released following the Haiti earthquake, reuniting Richie and Jones for its production, with a rap verse written by [[Music/BlackEyedPeas Will.i.am]]. Material recorded by Jackson from the original was also interwoven into the new version, which features Wyclef Jean, Music/JoshGroban, Music/{{Usher}}, Music/JanetJackson, Music/LilWayne and other well-known artists. All proceeds from the song were used by the newly formed '''We Are The World LLC''' to help with relief efforts in Haiti.

!!! "We are the tropes":

* AsLongAsItSoundsForeign: Jackson originally had the African-sounding "sha-lum sha-lingay" as the response lines in the chorus, until Geldof said that using gibberish like that might be considered offensive. Stevie Wonder called a friend who suggested some lines in Swahili instead, but Ray Charles and Music/WaylonJennings objected to having to learn phrases in a foreign language on short notice, and others pointed out that Swahili isn't even spoken in Ethiopia. Eventually the lines ended up as "one world, our children."
* AwardBaitSong: Considering it was meant to raise money for famine victims, this comes as no surprise.
* BlindMusician: Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles. Who actually lampshaded this on the night by threatening that if it wasn't done in one take, the pair of them would be driving people home.
* CharityMotivationSong: To help raise money for charities helping in Ethiopia.
* FollowTheLeader: While "Do They Know It's Christmas?" preceded it, this was the song that popularized the CharityMotivationSong genre in the U.S., although the former is still the better-known song in the UK. Songs that came in its immediate wake included:
** "Stars", performed by Hear 'n Aid, a group of HeavyMetal performers organized by Ronnie James Dio. This was also for African famine relief.
** "That's What Friends Are For", performed by Dionne Warwick and Friends (Music/EltonJohn, Stevie Wonder, etc.), a cover of a song from ''Night Shift'' that served as one of the first charity projects addressing the AIDS epidemic.
** "Hands Across America" was the theme song of a USA for Africa follow-up project that focused on helping the homeless in the United States.
* MegaCrossover: You know, for charity!
* MelismaticVocals: Present and correct.
* TruckDriversGearChange