The Funny Story Behind Dan Aykroyd Singing ‘We Are The World’ In 1985


The new Netflix documentary about the recording of 1985’s “We Are The World” brought nostalgia to viewers as well as the backstory behind the presence of legendary actor and comedian Dan Aykroyd. The Greatest Night in Pop featured archival footage and interviews with the performers, including Dan.

In the charity single’s video, one can spot Dan in the back and next to the late Harry Belafonte, and this had piqued fans’ curiosity for years as to how he got there. Everyone else, including Bob Dylan, Diana Ross, and Michael Jackson, were established music stars, making Dan the odd one out.


Why did Dan Aykroyd sing “We Are The World”?

Youtube video screenshot

Although the movie says he was on a “wishlist” of performers alongside Bette Midler, David Byrne, and Van Halen, Dan revealed in 2009 that he joined accidentally. “I was looking for a money manager, not a talent manager. But he said, so long as you are here, would you like to come and join this ‘We are the World’ thing?” he said, recalling that he met the manager while “interviewing business managers in L.A.” with his dad.


RELATED: Dan Aykroyd Gives Details Of Traumatic Experience That Almost Ended His Comedy Career Before It Started

Initially, he was skeptical but obliged because he considered his experience with selling “a few million records with the Blues Brothers” relevant to the music scene. “I thought, ‘how do I fit in here?’” he said. “In my other persona, I am a musician, so I showed up and was a part of it…” Speaking of singing, Dan did a hip-hop track with Tom Hanks two years later that ended up being a terrible joke.

DOCTOR DETROIT, Dan Aykroyd, 1983. © Universal /Courtesy Everett Collection

The documentary captured the session’s highs, lows, and funny moments, including when Al Jarreau got wine drunk and Stevie Wonder helping Ray Charles to the bathroom, leading someone to exclaim, “That is literally the blind leading the blind.”

Viewers have shared their thoughts on the film, with a fan commenting that they “need an entirely new doc on how Dan Akroyd got the invite.”

Youtube video screenshot

Like Dan had mentioned years ago, another social media user explained that “the Blues Brothers were the sh-t back then Dan Akroyd and Belushi,” so Dan’s presence was not so unfounded. “I thought this same thing! And he himself had to be like, what am I doing here and I can’t believe I wore this outfit!” another said of the Ghostbusters star.

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