Billy Joel looks back on Stevie Wonder trying to teach Bob Dylan how to sing

Aprilia Rine

Billy Joel looks back on Stevie Wonder trying to teach Bob Dylan how to sing
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Billy Joel has reflected on the 1985 recording sessions for the charity single ‘We Are The World’, and an interesting exchange between Stevie Wonder and Bob Dylan.

Speaking on The Howard Stern Show, Joel spoke fondly about the ‘We Are The World’ recording sessions and how he got involved in the project. According to the musician, he was already scheduled to be in Los Angeles that week for the Grammys and other commitments and thought to himself: “‘What the hell, this could be fun.”

However, Joel – and the other musicians involved in the charity single – had no idea what they were recording for. “I’m standing next to Cyndi Lauper. Now we’re all being filmed while this is going on. And she’s leaning over to me, going ‘This song sounds like a Pepsi commercial’”.

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Joel added: “Funny things were happening. Bob Dylan was shy to sing on his own. So Stevie Wonder comes out and is telling Bob how to sing like Bob Dylan. ‘We are the world. We are the children.’ And Dylan’s like, ‘Okay, I think I can do that.’”

“Stevie Wonder teaching Bob Dylan to sing like Bob Dylan was a moment.”

Later, Billy Joel shared his escapades with Bruce Springsteen during the song’s recording. “When everybody’s singing together, sometimes Bruce and I are in the chorus and sometimes we’re not because there was a big pile of deli sandwiches on the other side of the room and we kept going over to get a beer and a sandwich.”

‘We Are The World’ went on to top charts across the world, and is the ninth best-selling single of all time. Recorded under the name USA for Africa, the song features Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie – who co-wrote the track – along with Joel, Springsteen, Wonder, Dylan, Lauper, Tina Turner, Diana Ross and more.

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‘We Are The World’ is the subject of Netflix‘s new documentary, The Greatest Night In Pop, and is available for streaming exclusively on the platform now.

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