Why Waylon Jennings Walked Out of Recording ‘We Are the World’

ATLANTA - FEBRUARY 17: Country singer Waylon Jennings performs at Alex Cooley's Capri Ballroom on February 17, 1979 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Tom Hill/Getty Images)

If you’ve checked out the credits on the cultural hit, ‘We Are The World,’ you would see Waylon Jennings as a writer on the song, although he didn’t sing a line of the song. That’s because Jennings walked out of the recording session after a dispute on whether to sing a line of the song in Swahili. According to the Independent, an argument broke out at around 1 a.m. over the lyric between Bob Geldof, Michael Jackson, and Ray Charles, who was just ready to go home.  Waylon didn’t agree with the lyric saying, “No good ole boy sings in Swahili,” and walked out.  Ultimately everyone agreed on “one world, our children” and the song went on to sell over 20 million copies and raised $63 million for famine relief in Ethiopia.



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