By Whitney Pastorek
June 28, 2009 at 06:00 PM EDT

EW rang up Huey Lewis on Friday to get his memories of standing next to the King of Pop during the recording of “We Are the World,” and the singer obliged with a story that seems to encapsulate Jackson’s character.

“I stood right next to him on the solo lines, because I had the line right after he did. We had to share a position there for a couple hours. And we chatted. He said lots of nice things about my songs, and he knew our stuff, and he was just sweet, sweet, sweet. You know, Quincy Jones was producing, and they wanted to make one full sweep on the lead vocals, and they kept getting about halfway and somebody would forget the words and they’d stop again. And so we never got a chance to rehearse our lines down at the end, as it were. So I sort of stood up for that. I said, ‘Hey, can you go all the way through, at least, so I can rehearse? Stevie Wonder over there has sung his part four times!’ And Michael thought that was really funny, so he said, ‘Yeah.’ And the very next pass, we did the whole thing, we made it all the way. Clearly it was the good version. And I saw Quincy telling the engineer, ‘Okay, let’s do another,’ and Michael had his headphones off, and Quincy says, ‘All right, let’s do another one!’ And Michael, very concerned, grabs my hand and says, ‘They’re gonna save that last one, aren’t they?!?’ ‘Cause he knew that was the one. Obviously, what can be said about the guy? Super talented, and super fabulous, and super sweet at the same time. He was very comfortable. He was just really nice, man. Michael was just a really sweet guy.”

More from EW on Michael Jackson:
“Scream” director Mark Romanek on Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson: 18 key moments in the life of the King of Pop
Michael Jackson’s music dominate on iTunes and Amazon
Michael Jackson’s musical legacy: Tell us how you remember him
Michael Jackson dies at 50
Jackson on TV: A classic artist, a revolutionary
‘Thriller’ at 25: Still Can’t Beat It