Music icon and American Idol judge Lionel Richie recently concluded season 18 of the singing competition with a fresh rendition of “We Are the World,” a song he penned with Michael Jackson 35 years ago.
The iconic song’s TV performance was made special with the help of fellow judges Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, as well as the newly-crowned American Idol Just Sam. It also included appearances from notable Idol alums such as Jordin Sparks, Phillip Phillips, Scotty McCreery, Kellie Pickler, Katharine McPhee and more. With the help of technology, the home-filmed performance was edited against scenic but empty backgrounds of New York’s Times Square, the Brooklyn Bridge and other iconic landmarks.
The night’s performance also marked Richie’s first time singing this hopeful anthem on national television in 35 years. The singer first penned the song with Jackson in 1985 and recorded it by USA as a charity single for Africa’s famine relief. In 2010, it was re-recorded to support the relief efforts during the Haiti earthquake.
Watch the uplifting performance of “We Are the World” below: