Simon Cowell, Quincy Jones Battle It Out For Haiti
Big egos can do big things
In 1984 Sir Bob Geldof (Boomtown Rats) and Midge Ure wrote a song called "Do They Know It's Christmas," to raise money to benefit the people of Africa. It was performed by an all-star cast of British and Irish performers called Band Aid and consisted of the biggest names in music at the time like Bono, Sting, Duran Duran, Phil Collins, George Michael, Paul Weller, Bananarama, and even a reluctant Boy George were drawn to the project. For a full list, click here.
The single was a massive success, and sold more than a million copies in the first week of release, while helping to attract the world's attention to the starving people of Ethopia.
With the whole world watching, America's biggest names in music weren't going to idly sit by and be outdone by their ancestors across the pond. Singer Harry Belafonte, who'd already been planning a charity event to raise funds for Africa, teamed up with fundraiser and entertainment manager Ken Kragen, and the two set out to create something even more spectacular. Using all their contacts, they finally settled on Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie to write a song for this new benefit called "We Are The World," with legendary producer Quincy Jones helping recruit another all-star band of musicians and performers.
The final result would include the talents of Michael Jackson, Lionel Ritchie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Tina Turner and the list goes on (and on.) This single was the fastest selling single in U.S. history, and has sold over 20 million copies and raised more than $63 million dollars in humanitarian aid.Continued on the next page