The new Netflix documentary 'The Greatest Night in Pop' goes behind the scenes of the star-studded 1985 recording of "We Are the World"
There were more than three dozen superstars at A&M Studios in Los Angeles on the night of Jan. 28, 1985 — but Diana Ross had her sights set on just one.
During the recording of the Grammy-winning charity single “We Are the World,” the legendary singer asked Hall and Oates star Daryl Hall for his autograph, setting off a chain reaction of stars seeking signatures from other stars, according to the new Netflix documentary The Greatest Night in Pop (streaming now).
“Diana is one of my favorite artists that I’ve ever worked with, but at first, she is so on it that you better be ready for her. So I had my eyes on her, and I saw her coming toward Daryl,” the song’s vocal arranger Tom Bahler tells PEOPLE of the special moment. “Diana was walking toward Daryl, and when she got there, she opened up her book like a little girl getting an autograph and she said, ‘Daryl, I’m your biggest fan. Would you please give me your autograph?’”
Bahler says the gesture prompted a surprised response from the star-studded room — but before long, the floodgates had opened for others to do the same.
“For the next 45 minutes, we all signed each other’s music. It was just like, ‘Wow. When was the lsat time all of us were in the same room?’” says Bahler. “When Diana said, ‘Would you give me an autograph?’ all of a sudden, we realized what was going on. When it was over, we were family. We were in this together.”
Cameraman Ken Woo also remembers the sweet moment, saying it began something of a “love fest” among the lineup, which included everyone from Stevie Wonder and Bruce Springsteen to Cyndi Lauper, Bob Dylan and Tina Turner.
“I think a lot of these artists had not met any of the other artists before,” says Woo. “And these were the biggest guys on the radio, of our generation, of our time. It was amazing.”
The Greatest Night in Pop peels back the curtain on the organized chaos of the song’s creation, from its inception, to help people starving in Ethiopia, to the way in which Richie, Kragen and co. wrangled all their talent the same night Richie hosted the American Music Awards.
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Read the original article on People.