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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Michael Jackson: A Voice that Moved the World

Mohammed Amin shot the pictures and shown them to the world, Bob Geldof saw them, Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie wrote and sang the song; the world reacted like never-seen before; Ethiopia was hauled off the canvas of famine. This is the shibboleth of the “We are the World” song produced in 1985 to help remove millions of starving Ethiopians hard-hit by famine.

Mohamed Amin’s images of famine victims in Ethiopia stirred world reaction. The excruciatingly wrenching images of hungry children, men and women alike almost reduced to skeleton bones invaded the living room comfort of millions of people around the globe among them Bob Geldof and Midge Ure who eventually organized a Live Aid concert in 1985 to help remove the starving millions out of the horrendous situation.

“We are the World”, co-written by Michael Jackson, prevalently known as MJ, and Lionel Richie was the signature song for the multi-nation event. MJ was among a group of 45 popular singers who collaborated to record the charity single. They included Harry Belafonte, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, The Pointer Sisters, Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Paul Simon, Tina Turner and many more world famous artists in the 80s.

So selfless was MJ that he decided to skip the American Music Awards ceremony during that night to record the chorus of the song as a guide to the other artists, who he helped persuade to participate in the charity concert. The song was recorded under the group name “U.S.A for Africa”, standing for United Support of Artists for Africa”. Michael Jackson, who died of cardiac arrest in Los Angeles in the morning of June 26, 2009, was key to the success of the song and the subsequent fund raising, said to be the greatest-ever people-people humanitarian response. Throughout his life and music, MJ wrote the songs reminding his fans that they can “Heal the World”; after all, “We are the World”.

His was a gentle heart to help starving millions, and a talent to rock the world with eclectic music for years. Rest in Peace MJ. That is IT!

And that's the Steifmastertake!