The egos of superstars collide in a recent Netflix documentary.
What what happens when forty superstars are put in the same studio for one night?
A legendary charity song is born We Are the Worldwhich was heard by an estimated 1 billion people simultaneously in 1985.
Now a Netflix documentary has emerged from the recordings of that unique song The Greatest Night in Pop, whose name does not exaggerate much. The documentary focuses on telling the events of the entire constellation and especially the second author of the song Lionel Richie from view.
An at least equally interesting story is related Michael Jackson’s and Princen to the battle between, which is also referred to in the documentary.
Document No the events take place almost entirely in the music studio and the American Music Awards gala in Los Angeles. The recordings were mainly made during one evening and one night.
The choice of studio and time was based on practicality. Because We Are the World wanted to perform the song as wide as possible with the most popular artists of the moment, it was decided to schedule the recordings immediately after the American Music Awards gala. In this way, many of the artists were already nearby.
Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones photographed in 1984. Quincy Jones worked closely with Jackson on several of his hit albums.
The plan worked, and as agreed upon, among other things, arrived Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen, Cyndi Lauper, Harry Belafonte, LaToya Jackson, Bette Midler and a host of other legends.
Naturally was also there We Are the World – the second author of the song Michael Jackson.
Instead, the crown prince of pop Princen the arrival was awaited like the rising moon. The dream was that the superstars would forget their mutual hatred and sing a duet for the starving children of Africa.
The possibilities were increased by the fact that the song’s producer Quincy Jonesilla had relations with both artists.
Recording at the previous awards gala, the atmosphere was intense. Jackson and Prince were both at the top and back to back in several categories. Jackson album Thriller was declared in 1984 as the best-selling album of all time, by Prince Purple Rain -tour, on the other hand, had charmed people throughout the United States.
Jackson, who won the jackpot at the gala last year, didn’t even participate in the party, but practiced We Are the World – song alone in the studio.
The starting points for the duet of pop royalty were not favorable. Prince and Jackson had met before and managed to bump each other’s egos. Perhaps the worst accident happened in 1983 by James Brown tribute concert
During the show, Brown invited Jackson on stage, who showed off his singing and moonwalk skills. For one reason or another, Jackson urged Brown to invite Prince on stage as well. Full of menace, he threw the shirt away.
Then something unexpected happened. Prince took support from a street lamp on the edge of the stage and embarrassingly crashed into the audience with a cardboard pole.
“He made a fool of himself,” Jackson gloated in recordings that were later made public.
Prince was one of the few artists who turned down the invitation to participate in the making of We are The World.
After this, the fighting couple took up humiliating each other as their joint hobby. Prince coveted the success of Jackson, who was dubbed the king of pop, while Jackson envied his rival’s musical skills.
It is no exaggeration to say that at least at one point the stars hated each other.
January one night in 1985 ultimately ended in victory for both pop stars. The gala went to Prince. He received a total of ten awards during the evening, while Jackson was left without a single one. Prince topped off his win with a bang Purple Rain – with a performance that has been characterized as the finest in the gala’s history.
We Are the World -despite requests, he did not come to the recordings.
At a music studio more than twenty kilometers away, Jackson and the others are hard at work. Again, the superstars’ egos became a problem. In the middle of everything, Stevie Wonder managed to insist on the Swahili language for the song, Al Jarreau on the other hand, he threatened to ruin the solo parts with his excessive booze slurping. In the documentary, Bob Dylan looks like a deer in the headlights while listening to the masterful singing of others.
Some words of the song are changed by voice vote.
Then things fall into place, and a significant piece of music history is born. The song has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide, and tens of millions of euros have been collected to help the hungry.
Eventually the rivalry between pop royalty ended in defeat for both. Michael Jackson, who died in 2009, was suspected of sexually abusing children, and a documentary completed in 2019 Leaving Neverland made him, at least in the eyes of the general public, a non-person.
Prince, who suffered from drug addiction, died of an overdose of fake fentanyl in 2016.
The mutual acknowledgment of the stars continued almost until the bitter end. Jackson publicly called Prince a jerk and a mischievous person, among other things, and he reportedly used to watch Prince stumble on video.
Prince even extended the barb to his art. Published in 2004 Life ’O’ the Party – song he sings: My voice is getting higher / And I ain’t never had my nose done / That’s the other guy.
So my voice gets higher and I’ve never had a nose job. That’s the other guy.
The Greatest Night in Pop, Netflix.