Like everyone else, Lionel Richie is self-quarantining with his family, and still hurting from the loss of his friend Kenny Rogers who passed away last Friday. He’s also been contemplating reviving his 1985 all-star charity song “We Are the World” to raise money for victims of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Richie revealed to People that since the coronavirus became a real threat, he’s attempted to write a different song, but he kept coming back to the original words in the chorus of “We Are the World:” “There’s a choice we’re making; we’re saving our own lives.”
“We said, you can either say, ‘I’m saving my life’ or ‘We’re saving our lives,'” he explained to People.
“What happened in China, in Europe, it came here. So if we don’t save our brothers there, it’s going to come home,” Richie added. “It’s all of us. All of us are in this together.”
Richie originally opted out of promoting the song’s 35th anniversary this month, telling People, “This is not the time to sell an anniversary. But the message is so clear.”
“We Are the World,” co-written by Lionel and Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones, featured more than 40 different artists, including Stevie Wonder, The Jacksons, Diana Ross, Tina Turner, Ray Charles, Sheila E., Dionne Warwick and Smokey Robinson. It sold 10 million copies and raised more than $63 million for African famine relief.
In addition to inspiring many more all-star singles, “We Are the World” itself was remade in 2010 to raise money for Haitian earthquake victims. Produced by Quincy Jones and executive-produced by Richie, it featured Mary J. Blige, Toni Braxton, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Hudson, Wyclef Jean, Usher, Jamie Foxx, Mary Mary, Lil Wayne, Kid Cudi, Snoop Dogg, Nipsey Hussle, Kanye West and more.
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