Twice recorded, but second time lucky: That’s What Friends Are For topped the charts in February 1986 thanks to the vocal stylings of Dionne Warwick. And a few friends.
Written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, the song was first recorded by Rod Stewart in 1982 for the soundtrack of the film Night Shift.
In 1985, Warwick, joined by Gladys Knight, Elton John and Stevie Wonder, recorded this song as a single to raise funds for the American Foundation for AIDS Research. John played piano and Wonder played harmonica,
Released in November 1985 by Arista Records, the song topped the adult contemporary, R&B and Hot 100 charts in 1986 and was certified gold after spending several weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. The single sold over two million copies in less than four months.
The song went on to win the Grammy Award for Song of the Year and Best Pop Performance by a Group or Duo and was nominated for the Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Single.
Warwick included the song on her next album Friends, which became her most successful album of the 1980s.
And the best news – it raised US$3 million for the AIDS research, as well as being chosen as the song of the year for 1986 by Billboard Music.