Lionel Richie Promises Fans a Spectacular Treat in Netflix’s “The Greatest Night in Pop” Documentary on the Making of “We Are the World”

LOS ANGELES — Music legend Lionel Richie has promised fans an exciting experience when they tune into Netflix’s upcoming documentary, “The Greatest Night in Pop,” which explores the creation of the 1985 charity single, “We Are the World.” The trailer, released this week, offers a glimpse of some of the biggest artists of the time, including Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross, Cyndi Lauper, Ray Charles, and Bob Dylan, gathered in Jim Henson’s studio to record the iconic track.

Directed by Bao Nguyen, the documentary features interviews with Springsteen, Lauper, Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick, and others, recollecting their memories of that pivotal day on January 25. It presents never-before-seen footage and reveals new details about the song’s creation decades after its release.

“The greatest artists of a generation came together to save some lives,” says Richie in the trailer, emphasizing the importance of the song. He further explains that the idea for “We Are the World” came from singer and activist Harry Belafonte, who approached him to write a song to raise money for African hunger relief.

Produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian, “We Are the World” proved to be a massive success. It raised over $63 million, sold 20 million copies, and received four Grammy Awards and an American Music Award.

Although the song achieved tremendous acclaim, recording it was no easy feat. The session, defined by the convergence of numerous creative egos, was fraught with tension, clashes, and memorable moments. The documentary sheds light on the vibrant personalities present, including footage of Bob Dylan’s now-iconic blank expression, which has since become a social media meme.

Despite the challenges, the recording session was a historic and unforgettable night in the music industry. Singer-songwriter Kim Carnes described it as a magical experience, with everyone excited to be part of something monumental.

The documentary, set to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 19, will subsequently be available for streaming on Netflix starting January 29. Fans can anticipate an in-depth exploration of the making of “We Are the World,” providing insight into the iconic single’s enduring legacy.