Bob Geldof and Midge Ure created Band Aid 30, a group of musicians uniting to raise money for charity. Geldof and Ure formed the original Band Aid in 1984. Both Band Aid and Band Aid 30 sung “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”
Band Aid raised money to fight poverty and hunger in Ethiopia. The track sales for Band Aid 30’s version goes towards fighting Ebola in West Africa. “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” contains some of the current highest-grossing UK performers. The long list of singers lending their voice to the track include One Direction, U2’s Bono, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, Sam Smith, and Rita Ora.
Sunday Geldof appeared on X-Factor to unveil a video for the song. The next morning, the track was available for download. It sold 206,000 copies in one day, beating the former highest first week sales record for the year: Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be.” The track sold 163,000 copies in January.
Despite the popularity of the track, it’s already becoming quite controversial. Ian O’Doherty of Independent.IE said this about the track’s efforts:
If Bob and Bono want to help they should tackle the continent’s real problem – overpopulation. Too many people for too few resources leads to chaos and Africa needs condoms, not charity singles.
You may have missed this point in all the hype and hysteria, but Ebola is not one of those diseases which kills millions of Africans because they can’t afford to buy a simple jab that only costs a few quid in the West. It is, instead, killing people because of the ignorance and superstition of their customs and local elders who still believe in magic. That fundamental fact will be ignored out of a fear of being seen as racist.
Bryony Gordon of The Telegraph defended Adele, who was attacked by Geldof for not participating in the single. Gordon points out how Geldof insists “on shaming Adele for not appearing on the track.” The Telegraph writer also reveals that Adele quietly made a donation to Oxfam, a confederation of 17 organizations that work together to find global solutions for some of the most pressing world issues, including poverty.
— Band Aid 30 (@BandAid30) November 14, 2014
Gordon concluded her article by saying, “This, I think, is my main objection to Band Aid 30: it is all predicated on a belief that the British public are mean-spirited and uncharitable, when in actual fact nothing could be further from the truth. It’s time the likes of Geldof stopped asking us to give money, and like Adele, started donating some themselves. Charity, after all, begins at home.”