What is a bit surprising is that despite a barrage of airplay and media coverage from the moment it was released, "We Are the World" did not accomplish its top ranking in record time. Though "World" reached No. 1 in just four weeks, which is about half the time a single usually needs to hit its peak, it was not unusual during the height of Beatlemania for a single to reach No. 1 just two or three weeks after release.
"We Are the World" would have reached the top sooner had it not been for the extraordinary strength of Phil Collins' "One More Night," which has the kind of across-the-board support from both pop and rock listeners that normally keeps a song at No. 1 for at least four weeks. But the swift rise of "World" dropped Collins to No. 2 after just two weeks at the top, although "One More Night" is still holding "World" out of the No. 1 spot on the adult contemporary charts.