Feb. 25, 1986: "We Are The World" Scores 4 Grammy Awards

Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie

In '85, 46 of the world's biggest stars in music had joined together to record a philanthropic single to raise millions for famine relief for Africa. The resulting anthem of compassion "We Are The World" would not only hit quadruple platinum status, but score a bounty of Grammy gold along the way. 

Nominated in six categories during the 28th annual Grammy Awards, USA for Africa's "We Are The World" was awarded four Grammy wins for Record of The Year, Song of The Year, Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal and Best Music Video, Short Form. 

Stepping onto the stage to accept their awards for Song of the Year, the mega talented songwriting duo Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson thanked the industry and the audience while urging the crowd to "remember the children."

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"We are so proud to be part of an industry of people, that in a time when the world is in need of helping each other, this music industry of ours responded." Richie continued, "We want to take this time to thank all of the many artists and arrangers, writers and when I say this, I mean people behind the scenes that really made things work for us, and of course the public for responding. But the most important thing was that when we called, you responded - and we thank you for that." 

The final award of the evening was Record Of The Year, accepted by the acclaimed produce Quincy Jones, who referred to the famous “Check Your Ego At The Door” sign that had guarded the door of the song's recording sessions. “It was never necessary,” confessed Jones. He primed the industry for similar sorts of musical effort in the future as he shared, "I hope it becomes fashionable." 

READ MORE: USA for Africa Records "We Are The World" in One Marathon Session

Initiated by Harry Belafonte as well as activist Ken Kragen in the wake of UK supergroup Band Aid's charity hit "Do They Know It's Christmas," the collaboration enlisted the talent of a fleet of music's hottest names, including soloists Stevie Wonder, Kenny Rogers, Paul Simon, James Ingram, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, Al Jarreau, Bruce Springsteen. More than 46 musicians had come together for a marathon recording session to see this charitable dream come to life. 

Officially released on March 7, 1985, the poignant song became one of the fastest-selling American pop singles in history at the time, eventually selling more than 20 million copies worldwide. Raising over $63 million for humanitarian relief efforts in Africa, "We Are The World" would become the bestselling prayer of the decade. 

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