Certification refers to the confirmation of certain characteristics of an object, person, or organization. This confirmation is often, but not always, provided by some form of external review, education, assessment, or audit. Accreditation is a specific organization's process of certification. According to the National Council on Measurement in Education, a certification test is a credentialing test used to determine whether individuals are knowledgeable enough in a given occupational area to be labeled "competent to practice" in that area.
One of the most common types of certification in modern society is professional certification, where a person is certified as being able to competently complete a job or task, usually by the passing of an examination and/or the completion of a program of study. Some professional certifications also require that one obtain work experience in a related field before the certification can be awarded. Some professional certifications are valid for a lifetime upon completing all certification requirements. Others expire after a certain period of time and have to be maintained with further education and/or testing.
Certifications can differ within a profession by the level or specific area of expertise to which they refer. For example, in the IT Industry there are different certifications available for software tester, project manager, and developer. Also, the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology offers three certifications in the same profession, but with increasing complexity.
Certification does not designate that a person has sufficient knowledge in a subject area, only that they passed the test.
Certification does not refer to the state of legally being able to practice or work in a profession. That is licensure. Usually, licensure is administered by a governmental entity for public protection purposes and a professional association administers certification. Licensure and certification are similar in that they both require the demonstration of a certain level of knowledge or ability.
Another common type of certification in modern society is product certification. This refers to processes intended to determine if a product meets minimum standards, similar to quality assurance. Different certification systems exist in each country. For example, in Russia it is the GOST R Rostest.
Other types include:
In first-party certification, an individual or organization providing the good or service offers assurance that it meets certain claims. In second-party certification, an association to which the individual or organization belongs provides the assurance. Third-party certification involves an independent assessment declaring that specified requirements pertaining to a product, person, process, or management system have been met.
In this respect, a Notified Body is a third-party, accredited body which is entitled by an accreditation body. Upon definition of standards and regulations, the accreditation body may allow a Notified body to provide third-party certification and testing services. All that ensures and assesses compliance to the previously-defined codes but also to provide an official certification mark or a declaration of conformity.
For software testing, the certifications can be grouped into exam-based and education-based. For exam-based certifications the candidate must pass an exam, which can also be learned by self-study. For example, for International Software Testing Qualifications Board Certified Tester by the International Software Testing Qualifications Board or Certified Software Tester by QAI or Certified Software Quality Engineer by American Society for Quality. Education-based certifications are the instructor-led sessions, where each course has to be passed. The Certified Software Test Professional and the Certified Software Test Professional by International Institute for Software Testing are such examples.
Abbey Road is the eleventh studio album by English rock band the Beatles, released on 26 September 1969 by Apple Records. The recording sessions for the album were the last in which all four Beatles participated. Although Let It Be was the final album that the Beatles completed before the band's dissolution in April 1970, most of the album had been recorded before the Abbey Road sessions began. A two-sided hit single from the album, "Something" backed with "Come Together", released in October, topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US.
Abbey Road is a rock album that incorporates genres such as blues, pop, and progressive rock, and it makes prominent use of the Moog synthesizer and the Leslie speaker. Side two contains a medley of song fragments edited together to form a single piece. The album was recorded amid a more enjoyable atmosphere than the Get Back/Let It Be sessions earlier in the year, but there were still frequent disagreements within the band. John Lennon had privately left the group by the time the album was released and McCartney publicly quit the following year.
Although Abbey Road was an immediate commercial success and reached No. 1 in the UK and US, it initially received mixed reviews, some critics describing its music as inauthentic and bemoaning the production's artificial effects. Over time, the album became viewed as among the Beatles' best and many critics have ranked it as one of the greatest albums of all time. In particular, George Harrison's contributions, "Something" and "Here Comes the Sun", are considered to be among the best songs he wrote for the group. The album's cover, which features the four band members walking across a zebra crossing outside Abbey Road Studios, has become one of the most famous and imitated images in the history of popular music.Barbie Girl
"Barbie Girl" is a song by the Danish-Norwegian dance-pop group Aqua. It was released in May 1997 as the third single from the group's debut studio album, Aquarium (1997). The song was written by Søren Rasted, Claus Norreen, René Dif, and Lene Nystrøm, and was produced by Johnny Jam, Delgado, Rasted, and Norreen. It was written after Rasted saw an exhibit on kitsch culture in Denmark that featured Barbie dolls.The song topped the charts worldwide, particularly in European countries such as the UK, where it was a number-one hit for three weeks. It was also on top of the charts in Australia for the same length of time, and debuted and peaked at number 7 on the US Billboard Hot 100 on 6 September 1997, where it remains Aqua's biggest hit single, and their only one to reach the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100. It is Aqua's most popular work.
The song was performed as the interval act in the Eurovision Song Contest 2001, and became the subject of the controversial lawsuit Mattel v. MCA Records.Bohemian Rhapsody
"Bohemian Rhapsody" is a song by the British rock band Queen. It was written by Freddie Mercury for the band's 1975 album A Night at the Opera. It is a six-minute suite, consisting of several sections without a chorus: an intro, a ballad segment, an operatic passage, a hard rock part and a reflective coda. The song is a more accessible take on the 1970s progressive rock genre.When it was released as a single, "Bohemian Rhapsody" became a commercial success, staying at the top of the UK Singles Chart for nine weeks and selling more than a million copies by the end of January 1976. It reached number one again in 1991 for another five weeks when the same version was re-released following Mercury's death, eventually becoming the UK's third-best-selling single of all time. It is also the only song to be the UK Christmas number one twice by the same artist. It topped the charts in several other markets as well, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and The Netherlands, later becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time selling over six million copies worldwide. In the United States, the song originally peaked at number nine in 1976. It returned to the chart at number two in 1992 after being used in the film Wayne's World, which contributed to the revival of its American popularity.Although critical reaction was initially mixed, "Bohemian Rhapsody" remains one of Queen's most popular songs and is frequently considered one of the greatest rock songs of all time. The single was accompanied by a promotional video, which many scholars consider ground-breaking. Rolling Stone stated that its influence "cannot be overstated, practically inventing the music video seven years before MTV went on the air." The Guardian ranked the music video for "Bohemian Rhapsody" number 31 on their list of the 50 key events in rock music history, adding it ensured "videos would henceforth be a mandatory tool in the marketing of music".In 2004, "Bohemian Rhapsody" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2012, the song topped the list on an ITV nationwide poll in the UK to find "The Nation's Favourite Number One" over 60 years of music, while Mercury's vocal performance was chosen as the greatest in rock history by readers of Rolling Stone. In December 2018, "Bohemian Rhapsody" officially became the most-streamed song from the 20th century, and the most-streamed classic rock song of all time. The number of downloads of the song and original video has exceeded 1.6 billion downloads across global on-demand streaming services.Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen song)
"Hallelujah" is a song written by Canadian singer Leonard Cohen, originally released on his album Various Positions (1984). Achieving little initial success, the song found greater popular acclaim through a recording by John Cale, which inspired a recording by Jeff Buckley. It is considered as the "baseline" of secular hymns.Following its increased popularity after being featured in the film Shrek (2001), many other arrangements have been performed in recordings and in concert, with over 300 versions known. The song has been used in film and television soundtracks and televised talent contests. "Hallelujah" experienced renewed interest following Cohen's death in November 2016 and appeared on multiple international singles charts, including entering the American Billboard Hot 100 for the first time.ISO 9000
The ISO 9000 family of quality management systems (QMS) standards is designed to help organisations ensure that they meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders while meeting statutory and regulatory requirements related to a product or service. ISO 9000 deals with the fundamentals of quality management systems, including the seven quality management principles upon which the family of standards is based. ISO 9001 deals with the requirements that organizations wishing to meet the standard must fulfill.Third-party certification bodies provide independent confirmation that organisations meet the requirements of ISO 9001. Over one million organisations worldwide are independently certified, making ISO 9001 one of the most widely used management tools in the world today. However, the ISO certification process has been criticised as being wasteful and not being useful for all organizations.I Will Always Love You
"I Will Always Love You" is a song originally written and recorded in 1973 by American singer-songwriter Dolly Parton. Her country version of the track was released in 1974 as a single and was written as a farewell to her one-time partner and mentor of seven years, Porter Wagoner, following Parton's decision to pursue a solo career.Parton's version of "I Will Always Love You" was a commercial success. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart twice. It first reached number one in June 1974, and then in October 1982, with her re-recording on the soundtrack of the movie version of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Thus, she achieved the number one position twice with the same song, a rare feat that Chubby Checker had done previously with "The Twist" becoming number one in 1960 and again in 1962.
Whitney Houston recorded her version of the song for the 1992 film The Bodyguard. Her single spent 14 weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart making it one of the best-selling singles of all time. It also holds the record for being the best-selling single by a woman in music history. Houston's version of "I Will Always Love You" re-entered the charts in 2012 after her death, making it the second single ever to reach the top three on the Billboard Hot 100 in separate chart runs. The song has been recorded by many other significant artists including Linda Ronstadt and John Doe.In 1994, prior to releasing her debut album Blue, LeAnn Rimes sang "I Will Always Love You" on her independent album All That. She later included the song on Unchained Melody: The Early Years in 1997. At the time All That came out LeAnn was signed to Nor Va Jak Records. The album didn't do well and she was dropped from the label. Rimes was eventually signed to Curb Records.Killing Me Softly with His Song
"Killing Me Softly with His Song" is a song composed by Charles Fox with lyrics by Norman Gimbel.
The song was written in collaboration with Lori Lieberman, who recorded the song in late 1971. In 1973 it became a number-one hit in the United States and Canada for Roberta Flack, also reaching number six in the UK Singles Chart. The song has been covered by many artists; the version by the Fugees won the 1997 Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.Live Aid
Live Aid was a dual-venue benefit concert held on Saturday 13 July 1985, and an ongoing music-based fundraising initiative. The original event was organised by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine. Billed as the "global jukebox", the event was held simultaneously at Wembley Stadium in London, England, United Kingdom (attended by 72,000 people) and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States (attended by about 100,000 people).On the same day, concerts inspired by the initiative happened in other countries, such as the Soviet Union, Canada, Japan, Yugoslavia, Austria, Australia and West Germany. It was one of the largest-scale satellite link-ups and television broadcasts of all time; an estimated audience of 1.9 billion, across 150 nations, watched the live broadcast, nearly 40% of the world population.Music recording certification
Music recording certification is a system of certifying that a music recording has shipped, sold, or streamed a certain number of units. The threshold quantity varies by type (such as album, single, music video) and by nation or territory (see List of music recording certifications).
Almost all countries follow variations of the RIAA certification categories, which are named after precious materials (gold, platinum and diamond).
The threshold required for these awards depends upon the population of the territory where the recording is released. Typically, they are awarded only to international releases and are awarded individually for each country where the album is sold. Different sales levels, some perhaps 10 times lower than others, may exist for different music media (for example: videos versus albums, singles, or downloads).Nevermind
Nevermind is the second studio album by American rock band Nirvana, released on September 24, 1991 by DGC Records. Produced by Butch Vig, it was the band's first release on the label, as well as the first to feature drummer Dave Grohl.
Despite low commercial expectations, the album became an unexpected breakout success, largely due to the popularity of its lead single "Smells Like Teen Spirit". By January 1992, it had replaced Michael Jackson's Dangerous at number one on the US Billboard 200, and also produced three other successful singles: "Come as You Are", "Lithium", and "In Bloom".
Nevermind was responsible in part for bringing both alternative rock and grunge music to a mainstream audience, and has been ranked highly on lists of the greatest albums of all time by publications such as Rolling Stone and Time. The Recording Industry Association of America later certified the album Diamond (at least 10 million copies shipped), and it has sold at least 30 million copies worldwide, with 10.6 million sold in the United States alone.Pretty Woman
Pretty Woman is a 1990 American romantic comedy film directed by Garry Marshall, from a screenplay by J. F. Lawton. The film stars Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, and features Hector Elizondo, Ralph Bellamy (in his final performance), Laura San Giacomo, and Jason Alexander in supporting roles. The film's story centers on down-on-her-luck Hollywood sex worker Vivian Ward, who is hired by Edward Lewis, a wealthy businessman, to be his escort for several business and social functions, and their developing relationship over the course of her week-long stay with him.
Originally intended to be a dark cautionary tale about class and sex work in Los Angeles, the film was reconceived as a romantic comedy with a large budget. It was widely successful at the box office and was the third highest-grossing film of 1990. The film saw the highest number of ticket sales in the US ever for a romantic comedy, with Box Office Mojo listing it as the number-one romantic comedy by the highest estimated domestic tickets sold at 42,176,400, slightly ahead of My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) at 41,419,500 tickets. The film received positive reviews, with Roberts's performance being praised, for which she received a Golden Globe Award and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. In addition, screenwriter J. F. Lawton was nominated for a Writers Guild Award and a BAFTA Award.RIAA certification
In the United States, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) awards certification based on the number of albums and singles sold through retail and other ancillary markets. Other countries have similar awards (see music recording sales certification). Certification is not automatic; for an award to be made, the record label must request certification. The audit is conducted against net shipments after returns (most often an artist's royalty statement is used), which includes albums sold directly to retailers and one-stops, direct-to-consumer sales (music clubs and mail order) and other outlets.Rumours (album)
Rumours is the eleventh studio album by English-American rock band Fleetwood Mac, released on 4 February 1977 by Warner Bros. Records. Largely recorded in California in 1976, it was produced by the band with Ken Caillat and Richard Dashut. The band wanted to expand on the commercial success of their eponymous 1975 album, but struggled with relationship breakups before recording started. The Rumours studio sessions were marked by hedonistic behaviour and interpersonal strife among band members, which shaped the album's lyrics.
Recorded with the intention of making "a pop album", the album's music featured a pop rock and soft rock sound characterized by accented rhythms and electric keyboards such as the Fender Rhodes or Hammond B3 organ. The members partied and used cocaine for much of the recording sessions, and its completion was delayed by its mixing process, but was finished by the end of 1976. Following the album's release, Fleetwood Mac undertook worldwide promotional tours. Rumours reached the top of both the US Billboard 200 and the United Kingdom Albums Chart, and became the band's most successful release. The songs "Go Your Own Way", "Dreams", "Don't Stop", and "You Make Loving Fun" were released as singles, all of which reached the US top 10.
Having won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1978, Rumours has since sold over 40 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time, and has received diamond certifications in several countries, including the United States, Canada, and Australia. The album garnered widespread acclaim from critics, with praise centred on its production quality and harmonies, which frequently relied on the interplay among three vocalists and has inspired the work of musical acts in different genres.
Often considered Fleetwood Mac's best release, it has featured in several publications' lists of the best albums of the 1970s and of all time. In 2004, Rumours was remastered and reissued with the addition of "Silver Springs", which had been excluded from the original due to tension within the band, and a bonus CD of outtakes from the recording sessions. In 2018, the album was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry, being deemed "culturally, historically, or artistically significant" by the Library of Congress.Shallow (Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper song)
"Shallow" is a song from the 2018 film A Star Is Born, performed by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. It is the first single from the film's soundtrack and was released on September 27, 2018, by Interscope Records. "Shallow" was written by Gaga with Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, and Andrew Wyatt, and produced by Gaga with Benjamin Rice. It is heard three times in the film, most prominently during a sequence when Cooper's character Jackson Maine invites Gaga's character Ally to perform it onstage with him. The scene was filmed in front of a live audience at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles.
"Shallow" is a pivotal moment in A Star Is Born, since it speaks about Ally and Jackson's conversations. Gaga wrote it from Ally's point-of-view with the self-aware lyrics asking each other if they are content being who they are. A country and folk pop power ballad, "Shallow" finds Gaga and Cooper trading verses and gradually moves toward the final chorus with a vocal run by Gaga. The recording is interspersed with the sound of audience noise and applause. Gaga premiered it on DJ Zane Lowe's Beats 1 radio show while giving an interview about the film. An accompanying music video was also released, showing Gaga and Cooper singing "Shallow" onstage, interspersed with scenes from A Star Is Born.
The track received positive reviews from music critics who praised Gaga's vocals, the dramatic nature of the composition and the songwriting, while feeling it worthy of award nominations. Commercially, the song topped the record charts in more than a dozen countries, the digital charts in four European countries, and reached the top five in eight other countries. It received a Golden Globe for Best Original Song as well as four Grammy Award nominations, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year while winning Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Song Written for Visual Media. It also received a nomination at the 91st Academy Awards for Best Original Song. The song was performed live at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, and serves as the encore to Gaga's Las Vegas residency show, Enigma.The Dark Side of the Moon
The Dark Side of the Moon is the eighth studio album by English rock band Pink Floyd, released on 1 March 1973 by Harvest Records. It built on ideas explored in Pink Floyd's earlier recordings and performances, but without the extended instrumentals that characterised their earlier work. A concept album, its themes explore conflict, morality, greed, time, and mental illness, the latter partly inspired by the deteriorating health of founding member Syd Barrett, who left in 1968.
Developed during live performances, Pink Floyd premiered an early version of The Dark Side of the Moon several months before recording began. New material was recorded in two sessions in 1972 and 1973 at Abbey Road Studios in London. The group used advanced recording techniques at the time, including multitrack recording and tape loops; analogue synthesizers are prominent, and snippets from interviews with Pink Floyd's road crew and others provide philosophical quotations. Engineer Alan Parsons was responsible for many sonic aspects and the recruitment of singer Clare Torry, who appears on "The Great Gig in the Sky". The iconic sleeve was designed by Storm Thorgerson; following keyboardist Richard Wright's request for a "simple and bold" design, it depicts a prism spectrum, representing the band's lighting and the record's themes.
The Dark Side of the Moon produced two singles: "Money" and "Us and Them". The album topped the Billboard chart for one week, and remained on the chart for 741 weeks from 1973 to 1988. Following a change in Billboard's chart methodology in 2009, it re-entered the chart and has since appeared for over 900 weeks.
With estimated sales of over 45 million copies, it is Pink Floyd's bestselling album and one of the best-selling albums worldwide. It has been remastered and re-released several times, and covered in its entirety by several acts. It is regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time.The Eminem Show
The Eminem Show is the fourth studio album by American rapper Eminem, released on May 26, 2002 by Aftermath Entertainment, Shady Records, and Interscope Records. The Eminem Show includes the commercially successful singles "Without Me", "Cleanin' Out My Closet", "Superman", and "Sing for the Moment".
The Eminem Show reached number one in nineteen countries, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, and was the best-selling album of 2003 in the United States, with 7,600,000 copies sold. Since its release in 2002, the album has sold 10,600,000 copies in the United States and over 30 million copies worldwide. At the 2003 Grammy Awards, it was nominated for Album of the Year and became Eminem's third album in four years to win the award for Best Rap Album. On March 7, 2011, the album was certified 10× Platinum (Diamond) by the RIAA, making it Eminem's second album to go Diamond in the United States.The Phantom of the Opera (1986 musical)
The Phantom of the Opera is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Charles Hart. Richard Stilgoe and Lloyd Webber wrote the musical's book together. Stilgoe also provided additional lyrics. Based on the eponymous French novel by Gaston Leroux, its central plot revolves around a beautiful soprano, Christine Daaé, who becomes the obsession of a mysterious, disfigured musical genius living in the subterranean labyrinth beneath the Paris Opéra House.The musical opened in London's West End in 1986, and on Broadway in 1988. It won the 1986 Olivier Award and the 1988 Tony Award for Best Musical, and Michael Crawford (in the title role) won the Olivier and Tony Awards for Best Actor in a Musical. It is the longest running show in Broadway history by a wide margin, and celebrated its 10,000th Broadway performance on 11 February 2012, the first production ever to do so. It is the second longest-running West End musical, after Les Misérables, and the third longest-running West End show overall, after The Mousetrap.With total estimated worldwide gross receipts of over $5.6 billion and total Broadway gross of $845 million, Phantom was the most financially successful entertainment event until The Lion King surpassed it in 2014. By 2011, it had been seen by over 130 million people in 145 cities across 27 countries, and continues to play in London and New York.Thriller (Michael Jackson album)
Thriller is the sixth studio album by American singer Michael Jackson, released on November 30, 1982, in the United States by Epic Records and internationally by CBS Records. It explores genres similar to Jackson's previous album, Off the Wall (1979), including pop, post-disco, rock and funk. Recording took place from April to November 1982 at Westlake Recording Studios in Los Angeles, with a production budget of $750,000.
In just over a year, Thriller became the world's best-selling album, having sold an estimated 66 million copies. It is the second-best-selling album in the United States, behind the Eagles' album Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975), and was the first to reach 30x platinum, with 33 million shipped album-equivalent units certified in the US. The album won a record-breaking eight Grammy Awards in 1984, including Album of the Year. It produced seven singles—"The Girl Is Mine", "Billie Jean", "Beat It", "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' ", "Human Nature", "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)", and "Thriller"—all of which reached the top 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Thriller broke racial barriers in pop music, enabling Jackson's appearances on MTV and meeting with President Ronald Reagan at the White House. The album was one of the first to use music videos as successful promotional tools, and the videos for the songs "Thriller", "Billie Jean", and "Beat It" all received regular rotation on MTV.
In 2001, a special edition reissue was released, which contains additional audio interviews, demo recordings and the song "Someone in the Dark", a Grammy-winning track from the E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial storybook. In 2008, Thriller was reissued again as Thriller 25, containing remixes with contemporary artists, previously unreleased songs, and a DVD with three music videos and Jackson's performance of "Billie Jean" from the 1983 television special Motown 25.
In the same year, the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame along with Off the Wall. In 2012, Slant Magazine named Thriller the best album of the 1980s". In 2003, Rolling Stone placed the album at number 20 on their list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". The album was listed by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers at number three on its "Definitive 200" album list. Thriller was also included in the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry of culturally significant recordings, and the Thriller music video was included in the National Film Preservation Board's National Film Registry of "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant films".Tragic Kingdom
Tragic Kingdom is the third studio album by American rock band No Doubt. It was released on October 10, 1995, by Trauma Records and Interscope Records. It was the final album to feature original keyboardist Eric Stefani, who left the band in 1994. The album was produced by Matthew Wilder and recorded in 11 studios in the Greater Los Angeles Area between March 1993 and October 1995. Between 1995 and 1998, seven singles were released from it, including "Just a Girl", which charted on the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart; and "Don't Speak", which topped the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay and reached the top five of many international charts.
The album received mostly positive reviews from music critics. At the 39th Annual Grammy Awards, No Doubt earned nominations for Best New Artist and Best Rock Album. It has sold over 16 million copies worldwide, and was certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in the United States and Canada, platinum in the United Kingdom, and triple platinum in Australia. Tragic Kingdom helped to initiate the ska revival of the 1990s, persuading record labels to sign more ska bands and helping them to attract more mainstream attention. The album was ranked number 441 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
No Doubt embarked on a tour to promote the album. It was designed by Project X and lasted two and a half years. An early 1997 performance at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim was filmed and released as Live in the Tragic Kingdom on VHS and later DVD.We Are the World
"We Are the World" is a charity single originally recorded by the supergroup United Support of Artists (USA) for Africa in 1985. It was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and produced by Quincy Jones for the album We Are the World. With sales in excess of 20 million copies, it is one of fewer than 30 retail singles to have sold at least 10 million copies worldwide.
Following Band Aid's 1984 "Do They Know It's Christmas?" project in the United Kingdom, an idea for the creation of an American benefit single for African famine relief came from activist Harry Belafonte, who, along with fundraiser Ken Kragen, was instrumental in bringing the vision to reality. Several musicians were contacted by the pair, before Jackson and Richie were assigned the task of writing the song. The duo completed the writing of "We Are the World" seven weeks after the release of "Do They Know It's Christmas?", and one night before the song's first recording session, on January 21, 1985. The historic event brought together some of the most famous artists in the music industry at the time.
The song was released on March 7, 1985, as the first single from the album. A worldwide commercial success, it topped music charts throughout the world and became the fastest-selling American pop single in history. The first ever single to be certified multi-platinum, "We Are the World" received a Quadruple Platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Awarded numerous honors—including three Grammy Awards, one American Music Award, and a People's Choice Award—the song was promoted with a critically received music video, a home video, a special edition magazine, a simulcast, and several books, posters, and shirts. The promotion and merchandise aided the success of "We Are the World" and raised over $63 million (equivalent to $144 million today) for humanitarian aid in Africa and the US.
Following the devastation caused by the magnitude 7.0 Mw earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010, a remake of the song by another all-star cast of singers was recorded on February 1, 2010. Entitled "We Are the World 25 for Haiti", it was released as a single on February 12, 2010, and proceeds from the record aided survivors in the impoverished country.