Singers Pay Tribute to Harry Belafonte With a Chorus of ‘Day-O’ During the ‘We Are the World’ Rehearsal

During the 1985 recording of the USA for Africa song “We Are the World“, the famous singers and musicians who were working well into the night broke out into a spontaneous version of “Banana Boat Song (Day O)” in honor of singer Harry Belafonte. Inspired by the Band Aid supergroup song “Do They Know It’s Christmas” collaboration of European artists, Belafonte had been one of the primary organizers of this project, which sought to raise money and awareness for the famine in Ethiopia and other African countries. Al Jarreau sang the lead, while most of the group responded with callback chorus, which only further confused a bewildered Bob Dylan who didn’t know what to do.

The finished song – “We Are the World

Behind-the-scenes footage from that long day of recording.

The Band Aid song “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”