We Are the Streams: Netflix documentary boosts interest in 1985 all-star charity single

Imagine arranging for dozens of the world’s biggest singers to be in one room at the same time without the use of email or cellphones? That’s what happens in the Netflix documentary The Greatest Night in Pop, which chronicles the creation of the all-star 1985 charity single “We Are the World.” And apparently, it’s compelling enough to make people want to go and revisit the song.

Billboard reports streams of the song increased by 342% in the three days following the January 29 premiere of the documentary, while digital song sales went from basically nothing to 2,300.

“We Are the World” featured Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, Cyndi Lauper, Hall & Oates, Huey LewisKenny Loggins, Journey‘s Steve Perry, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, The Pointer Sisters, Dionne Warwick, Bette Midler, Willie Nelson and dozens more. 

Recorded to raise money for African famine relief, it hit #1, became the fastest-selling pop single in history and won four Grammys. It raised some $80 million — $240 million in today’s money — for the cause and for humanitarian aid in the U.S.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.