Dio had originally intended the song and album to be released shortly after its recording, but contractual issues with the different artists' record labels delayed the release until January 1, 1986, somewhat diminishing the impact of its release.
On 2 November 2011, Dio's widow Wendy announced that the song would be re-released. She told Rolling Stone: “I’m going to rerelease [Stars] because it only ever came out on vinyl and cassette. So it’ll come out on DVD and CD, I have loads of outtakes for the video”. In April 2015, Wendy Dio confirmed that a modern-day version of Hear 'n Aid was in the works to record a "new song" and released alongside the upcoming reissue of "Stars". She had stated that "legal stuff" was the cause of the reissue delay.
There was a second planned song to benefit a charity that Dio was involved with for years (Children of the Night), that benefited runaway children. This was to be a song called "Throw Away Children". However, due to various reasons the project never materialized, and the song ended up appearing on the 2002 Dio album, Killing the Dragon.