Jermaine Dupri said that after being inspired by the 1985 single “We Are the World,” he wrote a song about some of the current events and recruited several artists to sing it.
Proceeds from the song will reportedly go to charity, and some of the artists to be featured include Kelly Rowland, Monica, Ne-Yo, Miguel, Gary Clark Jr., Eric Bellinger, Johntá Austin, JoJo, and Angel.
“We Are the World” was written by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson and produced by Quincy Jones. The song was created to help Ethiopia during a historic famine in the mid-’80s that killed over 1 million people in that country.
A total of 46 artists came to Los Angeles’ A&M Studios on Jan. 28, 1985, to record “We Are the World,” and many of those artists were already considered legendary. That might be why Jones put a sign outside the studio that read “Check your egos at the door.”
Rolling Stone reports that “We Are the World” sold 8 million copies after its release and still earns money in 2020. Additionally, USA for Africa, the name of the supergroup who recorded the song, raised over $75 million for famine relief overall.
Dupri told Page Six that he read about “We Are the World” after reaching out to artists for his song.
“I’ve had a few people who rejected being on the song, a week ago,” he explained in the July 23 interview. “Those rejections had me in a f–ked up space. I’m trying to do something good for the cause … so I had to get myself out of that funk. I’m a songwriter, so when someone rejects one of my songs, I start thinking the song sucks immediately.”
“I started reading,” added the So So Def founder. “I read that when Quincy and Michael [Jackson] did ‘We Are the World,’ Prince came to the studio, and he rejected being on the song. When I saw that, it relieved me because I’m like, ‘That’s why Prince wasn’t on the song, because he didn’t like the song.’”
“[I also read] Cyndi [Lauper] thought the song sounded like a soap commercial or something, and a couple of others said they didn’t love the song. … So that gave me my next week of confidence and I started reaching out to the Detroit Choir. … It’s a song that represents this current time that we’re in,” Dupri explained.
A release date for the song has yet to be announced.