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The reason Prince turned down the 1985 Live Aid performance

The reaction to this was enormous and undoubtedly damaged Prince's reputation. The singer was branded an egomaniac for acting like he was too cool for Live Aid! Nevertheless, in his eyes, he made a principled decision...

"Live Aid 85: Why pop icon Prince refused to take part in such a big concert

It happened. July 13, 1985: at Wembley Stadium in London, Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially opened Live Aid, a worldwide rock concert organized to raise money for famine relief in Africa! The concert was also held at John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia: the singer Joan Baez opened it with the words: "It's your Woodstock that should have been done a long time ago!" Live Aid was broadcast in 110 countries and over a billion people watched it... Today it is remembered as a triumphant event: thanks to rock musicians for Africa, more than $125 million! It is also worth mentioning Bob GeldofThe Boomtown Rats, the Irish musician and leader of The Boomtown Rats, who, in fact, organized the benefit concert... Shortly before Live Aid Geldof was in Ethiopia, where he was shocked by the news that a terrible famine had claimed hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian lives... Back in London, he gathered famous rock musicians from both sides of the Atlantic to record with them a charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?"which has amassed more than 100 million dollars! Later he will organize a concert, thus saving many lives! However... today is not about the single, but about Geldof, and not even about Live Aid (Well, if only partially). Today we are going to talk about the reason why the pop idol of millions Prince - refused to take part in this good and great event...

Cult Day Events

Stars on stage at Live Aid 85!
Stars on stage at Live Aid 85!

The day the event took place Live Aidwhich is exactly what happened. July 13, 1985, united all in an effort to raise much-needed funds to combat the terrible famine that had enveloped Ethiopia...In this significant gathering of minds, even Led Zeppelin put aside their differences to reunite! This historic event was heralded as the "world's musical automaton": huge crowds gathered at London's Wembley Stadium and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia! To give some clarity as to how gigantic in scope these events were, the international television audience for Live Aid was 1.9 billion a person is almost 40% of the entire population of the world at that time! Until that moment, there had not been a cultural event comparable to Live Aid: It could rightly be said that it went beyond music... It was a demonstration of unity on a massive scale that brought everyone to the same side, even if it was just for the night. However...despite the unity, Prince never could bring himself to perform live. He had other ideas...

Prince drops out of Live Aid and the single "We Are The World"

Prince
Prince

Prince not only refused to perform live at the concert, but also refused to participate in the charity single "We Are The World". It is worth noting that in the track written by Michael Jackson and Lionel RichieThe biggest stars of the America! Even Bruce Springsteenwhose touring commitments prevented him from performing in Philadelphiayet took the time to appear in the song... The phrase from the last verse, "but if you just believe it, we can't fall" was originally meant for Prince after he gave his word that he would take part in a charity song. However...the truth is that he just hated "We Are The World". Although it was a worthy cause, even the famine in Ethiopia did not make the pop idol risk his artistic integrity.

"We Are The World" was recorded a few hours after the American Music Awards in 1984But instead of going to the studio, Prince threw a party at a Hollywood club. The media later portrayed him as a heartless villain for not participating in the recording of the charity single, and accused him of not seeing the bigger picture and tragedy...

The real reason

Former guitarist Prinsa, Wendy Melvoin, candidly commented on the incident in her book Alan Light's "Let's Go Crazy". When talking to Light, she said:

"Prince always felt cool and wanted to look cool, and he thought the song 'We Are the World' was terrible..."

Purple Rain movie (pictured by Prince)
Purple Rain movie (pictured by Prince)

In its turn Lionel Richie recalled having a long talk with the singer on the phone that day:

"I said to him, "Prince, we're all just waiting here for you!" He says, "Can I do it in a separate room?" I'd like to tell you it's different from anything he's ever done. It's just Prince. Of course, he's not going to be in a group of singers at a time when we want him to show up..."

Finally…

Despite the no-show, PrinceHowever, I donated my track "4 The Tears In Your Eyes" for the collection We Are The World. However, in true Prince style, instead of playing the track live in Philadelphiahe recorded a video performance for broadcast...

The reaction to this has been tremendous and has undoubtedly damaged the reputation of Prince. The singer was branded selfish for acting like he was too cool for Live Aid! Nevertheless, in his eyes, he made a principled decision. Prince was not one to share the limelight, and he had no ambition to be a backup singer michael jackson. If the song had been good enough, he would have potentially made an exception, but in this case he did not. Even the most unifying cause in the world could not persuade Prince to put his name on something he sincerely did not believe in...

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