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Out of 100 artists, you picked 20 that would make it to the The Globe’s hypothetical We Are The World supergroup

After five days of voting, readers selected their top 20 artists to be part of the supergroup. Illustration by The Globe and Mail

The recent Netflix documentary The Greatest Night in Pop chronicles the recording of the iconic charity song We Are the World, which featured 46 of the biggest musicians of the time, including Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Cyndi Lauper.

As song co-writer Lionel Richie says in the documentary, it’s hard to believe this kind of record could be made in 2024. Imagine the jockeying for the solos, the insistence to record remotely, the likelihood someone would leak clips on Instagram.

But it’s fun to imagine which artists would be asked to participate, and who would show up.

This week, we asked readers to vote for who they would pick for a 2024 version of We Are the World. Out of 100 artists, you picked 20 that would make it to the final supergroup. Here’s the line-up:

  • Elton John
  • Paul McCartney
  • Dolly Parton
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Beyoncé
  • Adele
  • Taylor Swift
  • Tracy Chapman
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Lady Gaga
  • Alanis Morissette
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Billie Eilish
  • Olivia Rodrigo
  • Post Malone
  • SZA
  • Sarah McLachlan
  • Bryan Adams
  • Jim Cuddy
  • Burton Cummings

Day 5: Canadian favourites

For our final voting round, we brought the category back home: Canadian favourites. The roster included a mix of classic legends and some newer generational talents, such as Polaris Prizewinner Haviah Mighty and Alvvays’ Molly Rankin. The new talents put up a fight, but the top spots were all taken by Canadian music legends. The four winners are: Sarah McLachlan, Bryan Adams, Jim Cuddy and Burton Cummings.

Day 4: Hip with the kids

This group of artists represent the next generation of the music industry. They have a fierce contingent of stans, their songs rule TikTok, and tickets to their concerts go for unheard-of sums of money. Some of the artists here have already earned their mainstream bonafides, but there are likely a few names here you may not recognize. Keeping up with the kids can feel like an exhausting, if not impossible, endeavour. But these are the names you’ll keep seeing pop up in the next few years. The four winners are: Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, Post Malone and SZA.

Day 3: The effortlessly cool

We called the category for Day 3 “the effortlessly cool” group, which to us, represents the artists who experiment with styles and sounds, pushing their genres to new levels. Whether it’s Kendrick Lamar in rap, Janelle Monáe in R&B or Tanya Tagaq with throat singing, these artists are the trailblazers in the music industry at large. Long story short: these are the cool kids. But there could only be four winners: Lady Gaga, Tracy Chapman, Alanis Morissette and Miley Cyrus.

Day 2: Pop powerhouses

On the second day of voting, we picked from today’s pop royalty. For us, pop powerhouses are the artists topping the Billboard charts, raking in the Grammys and selling out stadium tours. But only four could make it to the final group: Adele, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran.

Day 1: Legends

On the first day of voting, we pit the legends against one another. They have 168 Grammys between them all, but there could only be four winners in our game: Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Dolly Parton and Paul McCartney.

So, why is The Globe doing this?

The recent Netflix documentary The Greatest Night in Pop chronicles the frantic weeks planning the We Are the World recording session: flipping through Rolodexes, calling in favours, attempting to fit conflicting schedules together like a game of Tetris. In the end, they settled on recording the night of the American Music Awards, when the who’s who of the music industry – including Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan and Cyndi Lauper – would already be in Los Angeles.

We wanted to journey through a tale of “what-ifs” and imagine what a 2024 roster would like. Who would be the Huey Lewis of 2024, the young performer who can’t believe they’re amongst the greats? Or the Belafonte, the galvanizing force behind the song?

Open this photo in gallery:

This week, The Globe is playing a game of "what ifs" and imagining which musicians would sing in a We Are the World-style supergroup.Illustration by the globe and mail

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