Lionel Richie wishes he included Madonna on ‘We Are The World’ and wants her for American Idol

Lionel Richie says not booking Madonna for 'We Are The World' was a mistake

Lionel Richie has confessed in a new interview that he regrets not booking Madonna for the star-studded charity hit ‘We Are The World’.

Very shortly after Bob Geldof’s Band Aid recorded ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ with some of the biggest names in British and Irish music, to raise money for the famine in Ethiopia, another supergroup, USA for Africa, released their own charity single ‘We Are The World’ for the same cause.

USA for Africa was assembled by Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, and Michael Omartian, and included some of America’s most famous voices.

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Lionel Richie has admitted that not including Madonna on ‘We Are The World’ was a mistake. Elisabetta Villa/Getty Images)

Stars like Billy Joel, Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Ray Charles, Paul Simon, Dionne Warwick, Cyndi Lauper, and Bob Dylan were invited to sing solos on the track, which would eventually go on to win four Grammy Awards.

While the song was an unprecedented success, Richie has confessed he does have one or two regrets from the making of ‘We Are The World’.

The ‘Endless Love’ singer was on The Jimmy Kimmel Show promoting his new Netflix documentary, The Greatest Night In Pop, which just so happens to examine what went into the creation of the renowned pop hit when he admitted that he wishes he had included Madonna in the track.

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During the interview, Kimmel details a moment in the documentary in which Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, and their team are trying to decide between inviting Cyndi Lauper or Madonna to appear in the song. 

“Why did it have to be Cyndi Lauper or Madonna?” asked Kimmel, to which Richie replied: “It’s probably one of the most interesting questions in the world. It’s because we had only half a line to sing. Half a line. So, we had to have voices that people knew right away.”

He continued: “You have to have an identifiable voice, and for whatever reason, Cyndi just had that. So that was it!”

But Kimmel prodded at his guest, urging him to admit that choosing not to book Madonna for the single was a mistake.

Eventually, Richie conceded: “I’m going to say this now on international television. You’re right. We made a mistake.

In fact, Lionel Richie stands by Madonna so much that he went on to use his interview slot to ask her to call him about appearing on American Idol.

Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie in 1985
USA for Africa was assembled by Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, and Michael Omartian. (Getty Images)

Richie, who is a judge on the talent show, briefly touched on the news that his fellow judge Katy Perry had decided to leave American Idol, so someone would have to take her place.

When Kimmel, who is apparently Madonna’s biggest fan now, suggested that the ‘Like A Virgin’ singer could be a good fit for the show, Richie agreed: “Wow! Madonna, if you’re listening… call me! We’ve got to call!”

Madonna is a little busy right now, in the midst of her iconic Celebration Tour, which doesn’t wrap until the end of April, but perhaps she could squeeze in a quick phone call between shows?

We’d LOVE to see this happen!

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