Dozens of Superstars Collaborate on Historic Hit, Reigniting Old Feuds Between Two Singers

Dozens of Superstars Collaborate on Historic Hit, Reigniting Old Feuds Between Two Singers

A recent Netflix documentary explores the clash of superstar egos. The question it poses: What happens when forty superstars are put in the same studio for one night? The result is the legendary charity song “We Are the World,” which was heard by an estimated 1 billion people simultaneously in 1985. The documentary, titled “The Greatest Night in Pop,” focuses on the events of that night, including the contentious relationship between Michael Jackson and Prince.

The documentary takes place almost entirely in a music studio and at the American Music Awards gala in Los Angeles. The recordings were made during one evening and one night, immediately after the American Music Awards gala. This scheduling was done so the most popular artists of the moment, who were already nearby, could participate.

The plan worked, and the recording session was attended by a host of legends including 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 many others.

However, the arrival of the “crown prince of pop,” Prince, was particularly anticipated. The hope was that he and Michael Jackson would set aside their rivalry and sing a duet for the starving children of Africa. The chances of this happening were increased because the song’s producer, Quincy Jones, had relationships with both artists.

However, the rivalry between Jackson and Prince had been intense, particularly at the previous year’s awards gala where both were successful and competitive. Furthermore, Jackson and Prince had a history of clashing egos. This rivalry continued, with both superstars taking up the hobby of trying to humiliate the other. At one point, it could be said that they hated each other.

In the end, both pop stars experienced victory and defeat. Prince won a total of ten awards at the gala, while Jackson did not win any. Despite being invited to the “We Are the World” recording, Prince did not attend. Instead, Jackson and the other superstars worked hard at the studio, where their egos again became a problem. Nevertheless, the song was completed and ended up selling more than 20 million copies worldwide, raising tens of millions of euros for the hungry.

The rivalry between Jackson and Prince ultimately ended in defeat for both. Jackson, who died in 2009, was suspected of child sexual abuse, and a 2019 documentary titled “Leaving Neverland” tarnished his reputation. Prince, who suffered from drug addiction, died of an overdose in 2016. The two stars continued to take shots at each other almost until the end. Jackson publicly called Prince a jerk, while Prince made references to Jackson in his song “Life ’O’ the Party.”

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