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We Are the World celebrates 20 years

The “We Are the World” single was released on March 7, 1985, by Columbia Records. It topped charts throughout the world and received a quadruple platinum certification, becoming the first single to be certified multi-platinum.

This week marks the 20th anniversary of “We Are the World,” a song that made music history. To commemorate the occasion, a new DVD is being released with behind-the-scenes footage of the recording session. “Today” national correspondent Jamie Gangel gets an exclusive look back with the stars that made it happen. It was an incredible undertaking. Lock 45 artists, many of them superstars, in a studio overnight for one marathon recording session. To this day it still amazes the man who modestly stood in the back row.

“To get two artists in a room is to invite chaos,” says organizer Harry Belafonte. “But here you are with dozens of the best and most powerful artists in popular culture, who had relegated their managers to a place in Siberia — and as a consequence, it was completely art on art.”

If Belafonte was the conscience of the project, legendary producer Quincy Jones was the maestro. Twenty years later, he still has the lucky sweater he wore to corral all that talent and remembers the warning he gave them: “Check your egos at the door.” Read more >

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