Lionel Richie still smiling about We Are The World video

Soul man Lionel Richie still has fond memories of shooting the iconic Usa For Africa We Are The World video in 1985, insisting he could write a book about the all-star get together. Richie co-wrote the charity anthem with Michael Jackson as a response to Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? and he still chuckles about some of the anecdotes from the video shoot.
He tells Entertainment Weekly, “We were sitting there and we’re doing Bob Dylan’s part, and Bob turns to me and Michael and says, ‘How do you want me to sing it?’, and we all looked at each other like, ‘What?’ He said, ‘How do you want me to sing it?’
“And Stevie (Wonder) said, ‘There’s a choice we’re making…’ in Bob’s voice, and Bob says, ‘Oh, OK, I got it!’ Are you kidding me? Stevie had to show Bob!
“Or Stevie showing Ray (Charles) where the bathroom was. That was funny. It’s like, ‘I’ll show you where it is, Ray. Follow me!’ And Stevie took Ray by the hand and took him down the hall. And I kept thinking, ‘What did we just see?'”
But, joking aside, the song and the video had a massive impact in Africa, where Richie has become a tribal king many times over.
He adds, “I am a member of every tribe in Africa… It’s overwhelming, to the point where Nelson Mandela told me, ‘You are now a member of every family and every tribe in Africa’. And he was right. I go there and I just must tell you, it’s a welcome home. It’s not like I’m a visitor. I’m home.”