By William H. Benson

"We Are the World" and Benghazi


Late in 1984, the calypso singer Harry Belafonte decided to raise funds for the famine-starved Ethiopians in Africa. First, he approached Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and asked them to write a song. Then, he asked several dozen of the biggest musical artists in the country to assemble in a studio one night and sing Jackson and Richie’s song.

The resulting album and video’s sales Belafonte would turn over to United Support of Artists for Africa, or USA for Africa, a non-profit foundation. The artists would give their time and talent.

According to Jackson’s sister, La Toya, it was...

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