CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER

We Are the World. We Are the Charity Single.

After the Orlando Shooting, the Musical Staple of 1980s Philanthropy Makes a Comeback

A few years ago I took on a research challenge: to listen to every charity single released in the United Kingdom between December 1984 and the end of 1995. I ended up studying 82 singles in depth—some had international success, some were made for local community audiences.

Charity singles are the songs specially recorded by musical artists to benefit charitable causes. Perhaps the best known are 1984’s Band Aid, which sang “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” about Ethiopian hunger, and 1985’s “We Are The World,” recorded on behalf of Africa. Critics …

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