• Lionel Richie revived 1985 charity single "We Are the World" during "American Idol's" season finale
  • The singer-songwriter was joined by "Idol" judges Luke Bryan and Katy Perry as well as the show's former alums 
  • "We Are the World" was originally pre-taped by Richie and the late pop icon Michael Jackson

Lionel Richie brought back one of his most iconic songs, “We Are the World,” during “American Idol’s” Season 18 finale.

Alongside “Idol” judges Katy Perry and Luke Bryan, as well as the television show’s 2020 contestants and past winners, the singer-songwriter performed his 1985 charity single on Monday (May 18). The historic performance featured a star-studded ensemble that included “Idol” alums Scotty McCreery, Phillip Phillips, Jordin Sparks, Kellie Pickler, Laine Hardy, Gabby Barrett, Alejandro Aranda, Lauren Alaina, Katharine McPhee and Ruben Studdard.

Richie, 70, co-wrote the charity anthem with the late King of Pop Michael Jackson during the mid-'80s. Richie and Jackson’s “We Are the World” was recorded by the world’s biggest music artists such as Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder and Cyndi Lauper, created as a fundraising relief to help alleviate famine in Africa.

To celebrate 35 years since the charity song was debuted, the 70-year-old singer took to Twitter to commemorate the single’s anniversary.

“This year #WeAreTheWorld turns 35 and is still going strong. Together, we can help build a hunger-free world. Head to for more info and to help fight hunger in Africa & the U.S.,” Richie wrote.

Aimed at combatting world hunger and poverty, Richie and Jackson’s penned fundraising tribute was a worldwide commercial success selling over 20 million copies across the globe. “We Are the World” topped music charts and immediately became a smash hit U.S. pop single in music history.

Richie and Jackson’s charity single was also awarded numerous accolades, including three Grammy Awards, a People’s Choice Award, as well as one American Music Award. The single’s promotion and merchandise did not only bolster its success but also raised over $63 million for humanitarian aid in both Africa and the U.S.

A remake of the 1985 hit was also released after the devastating Haiti earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010. The 2010 Haiti earthquake brought in a catastrophic magnitude of 7.0, taking the lives of over 220,000 Haitian natives.

The song remake entitled, “We Are the World 25 for Haiti,” included an all-star cast of singers such as Celine Dion, Janet Jackson, Pink, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers, among others, and was record on Feb. 1, 2010.

Meanwhile, Richie’s 2020 revival of the charity song is counted as its third remake. The new single signaled the closure of the “American Idol’s” Season 18 finale. The crooner’s “We Are the World” 2020 revival also serves as a message of global solidarity as the world continually battles the current coronavirus pandemic.

Watch Richie, Bryan, Perry and former "Idol" stars perform "We Are the World" below.

Kenny Rogers, pictured with Lionel Richie, came to prominence through his collaboration with Dolly Parton
Kenny Rogers, pictured with Lionel Richie, came to prominence through his collaboration with Dolly Parton GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Rick Diamond