Lionel Richie plans new 'We Are the World' charity single to fundraise against coronavirus

24 March 2020, 14:18

Lionel Richie set to re-release 'We Are the World' to fundraise against coronavirus
Lionel Richie set to re-release 'We Are the World' to fundraise against coronavirus. Picture: Getty

By Rory O'Connor

Lionel Richie is considering releasing a new version of 'We Are the World' in a bid to raise money to fight coronavirus.

The track, released 35 years ago, featured Michael Jackson, Kenny Rogers, Cyndi Lauper, Diana Ross and several other big name stars.

It raised $63 million to fight famine in Africa, but now 70-year-old Lionel believes the message could be used again.

Lionel said: "Two weeks ago, we said we didn't want to do too much [about the song] because this is not the time to sell an anniversary. But the message is so clear.

"Every time I try and write another message, I write those same words."

Click here for the latest coronavirus advice from the NHS

Lionel wrote the song with Michael and revealed how they came up with the lyrics together.

He told People magazine: "That line came about as Michael and I were sitting there talking.

Read more: Lionel Richie pays emotional tribute to late friend Kenny Rogers: ‘I lost one of my closest friends’

"We said, you can either say, 'I'm saving my life' or 'We're saving our lives.' 'We Are the World' is a statement we wanted to make. What do we do to save our own?"

'We Are The World' lyric sheet
'We Are The World' lyric sheet. Picture: Getty
Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie with their Grammy Award for 'We Are The World'
Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie with their Grammy Award for 'We Are The World'. Picture: Getty

Referencing coronavirus, Lionel said: "We were back to there are 'those people' and 'those people.' If you find yourself saying 'those people' then you are not thinking properly.

"What happened in China, in Europe, it came here. So if we don't save our brothers there, it's going to come home. It's all of us. All of us are in this together.

"We are all hunkered down. Family is the key to this. It is the soother."

Last Played Songs