Unbelievably, it has been twenty-five years since Michael and Lionel Ritchie composed and sang ‘We Are The World,’ together with many major stars from that era. The song was part of the fundraising effort totaling sixty-three million dollars by ‘USA For Africa.’
On December 7th, the recording will be re-released as part of a commemorative download-only compilation, ‘We Are The World/United in Song,’ that includes Tacoma’s, LeRoy Bell, together with Youssou N’Dour, Angelique Kidjo, Lila Downs, Sierra Leone’s ‘Refugee All Stars,’ and other world-music stars.
Bell was half of the fabled songwriting team, Bell and James, who wrote songs for the Spinners, O’Jays, Temptations and Elton John, including Elton John’s 1979 hit, ‘Mama Can’t Buy Me Love.’ Bell moved to Tacoma in the ’90s and has lately been performing with LeRoy Bell and His Only Friends.
Bell’s inspirational, acoustic-soul contribution to ‘We Are the World/United in Song,’ is the title track from his 2008 album ‘A Change Is Coming.’
Like ‘We Are the World,’ the new compilation is a project of ‘USA for Africa,’ which will use the proceeds to make grants to organisations in the areas of food, security, clean water, malaria, AIDS, the plight of women and children, and the environment.
‘We Are the World/United in Song,’ is available for download Tuesday from iTunes, Amazon and other digital-music outlets.