"America" (also known as "They're Coming to America" or "Coming to America") is the name of a patriotic song written and originally recorded by Neil Diamond, released in 1980 as part of The Jazz Singer soundtrack album. The song was a hit single in the United States in 1981, reaching number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and was Diamond's sixth number one on the Adult Contemporary chart Billboard also rated it as the #62 pop single overall for 1981. Although the single version was a studio recording, it sounds live because of crowd overdubs in the song.
The Jazz Singer is an album by Neil Diamond from 1980, which served as the soundtrack album to the 1980 remake of the film The Jazz Singer. The soundtrack was released in November 1980 originally on Capitol Records, instead of his then-usual Columbia Records, because the film was produced by EMI Films, owned by the parent company of the label for which the soundtrack was released. The soundtrack was re-released in February 1996 on Columbia Records in the US and Sony elsewhere.
The film's reviews were negative, won Diamond the first Razzie for Worst Actor at the 1st Golden Raspberry Awards, and bombed at the box office. However, its soundtrack was a huge success and became Neil Diamond's biggest selling album in the United States, selling over 5 million copies there and reaching #3 on the pop albums chart. Three of the songs from the album became Top 10 pop singles, with "Love on the Rocks," "Hello Again" and "America" reaching #2, #6, and #8 respectively.
The song's theme is a positive interpretation of the history of immigration to the United States, both during the early 1900s and today. Combining Diamond's typically powerful melody, dynamic arrangement, and bombastic vocal, it ends with an interpolation of the traditional patriotic song "My Country, 'Tis of Thee". In Diamond's concerts, the song is a very popular number both home and abroad, with a large United States flag often displayed from the rafters on cue to the lyric, "Every time that flag's unfurled / They're coming to America."
The song has been used in a number of contexts, including as a theme song for Michael Dukakis's 1988 presidential campaign and in promotion of the 1996 Olympics. Diamond also sang it at the centennial rededication of the Statue of Liberty.
Shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks, Diamond modified the lyrics to "America" slightly during live performances. Instead of "They're comin' to America," towards the end, it became "Stand up for America."
Despite the song's patriotic message, it was included on a memorandum listing songs deemed inappropriate by Clear Channel Communications following the September 11 attacks.
It was the second song played on WHTZ New York.