In 1984, two musicians brought together some of the biggest stars in the world for a song. Recorded in just one day and released four days later, the song became this:
Proceeds from the sale of the Christmas song were used to help alleviate poverty in Ethiopia. Inspired by the success, producers set their sights on a summer concert to raise even more funds. On July 13, 1985, Live Aid was held in London and Philadelphia, as well as being televised worldwide. It was the most ambitious international satellite TV event ever at the time.
According to Joan Baez's memoir, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson were deliberately absent from the event, even attempting to start a boycott. I couldn't find information on why they were against it but that same year, they were both very much a part of this (notably much more diverse) project to benefit Africa:
USA for Africa is responsible for We Are the World, which sold 20 million copies worldwide. Only 15 songs have sold more than 15 million copies...EVER. Still today, it stands as a tribute to some of the best musical artists of our time. In a sense, it's a musical time capsule:
The trend seemed to have ended in the early 90s, when David Foster gave it one more try.
The song was designed to boost the morale of troops serving in Operation Desert Storm. It did fairly well, but all of the celebrity compilation songs inspired a parody by SNL. Perhaps that is what ended the trend?
Maybe the music industry should give this another try. What do you think?