Superstars record song for Africa victims


LOS ANGELES -- Dozens of the biggest names in American popular music stayed up all night following an awards program to record 'We Are the World,' whose royalties will benefit the starving people of Africa.

About 45 artists went directly from Monday night's American Music Awards show to the A & M studios in Hollywood to record the single -- the American counterpart to the British 'Do They Know It's Christmas,' which has earned about $9 millionfor famine victims in Ethiopia and other African nations.


The record is expected to be released in early March.

The song was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, who dominated the awards program, winning six of the awards voted by about 20,000 record buyers. Richie edged Prince in several categories in which the two competed, and after the program Prince went to a Hollywood restaurant instead of the recording session.

At the restaurant, two of Prince's bodyguards, including the 6-foot, 9-inch, 300-pound behemoth who had accompanied Prince onstage at the awards telecast, were arrested for attacking a pair of photographers who tried to take pictures of the rock star.

Bodyguards Lawrence Gibson and Wallace Safford allegedly punched and grabbed the cameras of two freelance photographers, Mike Guastella, Los Angeles, and Vincent Zuffante, New York. Both were booked on suspicion of assault and released on bail.


Prince reportedly did not attend the recording session because of a long-standing feud with Michael Jackson.

People who attended the session said everything went smoothly, despite concerns by the organizers that the egos of the stars would result in a giant clash.

'With all those egos in one room, that may be a problem,' producer Quincy Jones said before the session.

Among the stars at the session were Jackson, Richie, Jones, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Cyndi Lauper, Diana Ross, Hall and Oates, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Tina Turner, Kenny Rogers and Billy Joel.

The session lasted from about 10 p.m. until after sunrise on Tuesday, and fans were kept at bay by a phalanx of police and security officers outside the studio.

Richie called the record a 'joint effort to do what we can to help starving people.'

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