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In the wake of Bob Geldof's mammoth 'Live Aid' events came the Heavy Metal community's own charity project HEAR N' AID, was the original idea of DIO guitarist Vivian Campbell and bassist Jimmy Bain. The pair had subsequently donated items of equipment to a Los Angeles radio station 'Rock Relief For Africa' radiothon. Band leader Ronnie James Dio had also donated a gold record to be auctioned off, whilst drummer Vinnie Appice had offered some drums. In all, the project raised around $250'000 but Viv and Jimmy felt something bigger was needed in order to swell the coffers of the fund for famine relief run by 'U.S.A. For Africa'.

Campbell and Bain asked Dio to front the recording of a single, the singer agreeing to co-write and produce the work into the bargain.

The basic tracks for 'Stars' were recorded at Sound City Studios in Los Angeles and utilized the entire DIO line-up plus QUIET RIOT drummer Frankie Banali. Vocals and additional guitar parts were laid down at A&M Studios later.

Dio was joined by fellow vocalists ROB HALFORD of JUDAS PRIEST, QUEENSRYCHE's Geoff Tate, Y&T's Dave Meniketti, DON DOKKEN of DOKKEN, BLUE OYSTER CULT's Eric Bloom, ROUGH CUTT's Paul Shortino and Kevin Dubrow of QUIET RIOT.

An ample arsenal of guitars was supplied by IRON MAIDEN's Dave Murray and Adrian Smith, NIGHTRANGER's BRAD GILLIS, DOKKEN's GEORGE LYNCH, GIUFFRIA's Craig Goldy, TWISTED SISTER's Eddie Ojeda, JOURNEY's NEAL SCHON, BLUE OYSTER CULT's BUCK DHARMA, QUIET RIOT's Carlos Cavazo and even YNGWIE MALMSTEEN.

Backing vocals found MȪTLEY CRÜE's VINCE NEIL and Tommy Lee, W.A.S.P.'s Blackie Lawless and Chris Holmes, DOKKEN's Mick Brown and Jeff Pilson, LESLIE WEST, TED NUGENT, CARMINE APPICE, David St. Hubbins and Derek Smalls of SPÏNAL TAP playing a part.

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Stars 1986