Quick-fisted bodyguards provided a violent counterpoint to a night...


LOS ANGELES -- Quick-fisted bodyguards provided a violent counterpoint to a night of international camaraderie following this year's American Music Awards early Tuesday.

Dozens of America's top singing stars left Monday night's ceremonies to jam all night long in a Hollywood studio, recording a single titled 'We Are The World' that will raise millions for African famine victims.


Prince, however, opted for a Sunset Strip restaurant where his bodyguards allegedly beat at least two photographers waiting outside, ripping the film out of one camera.

The divergent scenarios followed the nationally televised ceremonies, where Lionel Richie collected six awards to easily outdistance Prince Roger Nelson and Kenny Rogers with three each.

Following the ceremony, a line of limousines took most of the celebrities from the Shrine Auditorium near downtown to the A&M Records studios in Hollywood to cut their single for charity.

The proceeds from a similar record, made last year in London by British rock stars, is providing millions of dollars to drought-stricken Ethiopia.

Richie said he wrote the American composition, a ballad, with Michael Jackson, who received a record seven American Music Awards last year, but none this year.

Richie, who hosted the three-hour telecast, called the single was 'a joint effort to do what we can to help starving people.


The song 'hopefully will eventually become a whole album,' Richie said. He said the details of the project will be announced Wednesday at a news conference.

Besides Richie and Jackson, artists performing on the record were Rogers, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles.

Meanwhile, photographers waiting outside Carlos and Charlie's restaurant in West Hollywood were being beaten by Prince bodyguards.

Prince had attended the awards program with more than 20 bodyguards, most of them bodybuilders hired from Gold's Gym in Venice.

Outside the restaurant, one photographer was punched in the eye and another was 'seized by his shoulders' until he gave up his camera, sheriff's deputy Stephen Lee said.

'Two of the bodyguards moved in and set upon the photographers,' he said.

Lawrence Gibson, 6-foot-9 and 300 pounds, allegedly grabbed one photographer and 'told him to surrender his camera or get hurt,' Lee said. He gave up the camera, and the film was torn out of it.

Two bodyguards were arrested, one on suspicion of assault and one on suspicion of robbery, and both were later released on bail.

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