MOSCOW, November 15 (Sputnik) — To raise money to combat Ebola, British music stars gathered on Saturday to record a new version of the Band Aid charity song. British pop and rock music icons such as Bono from U2, One Direction and Rita Ora arrived at a recording studio in west London, reports Reuters.
The single, "Do They Know It's Christmas?” was first recorded 30 years ago after musician and philanthropist Bob Geldof inspired a host of stars to gather under the Band Aid name to help those affected by famine in Ethiopia.
The original song from 1984, raised 8 million pounds ($11 million), featuring some of the era's biggest acts including U2's Bono, George Michael and David Bowie. It has been re-recorded twice in 1989 and 2004, reports Reuters.
This time, British music artists including Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding and Bono are singing on the rewritten version of Do They Know It's Christmas. For other songs Bono will be joined by Robert Plant, front man of rock band Led Zeppelin, Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin and Sam Smith, as stated by the Telegraph.
The new recording marks the 30th anniversary of the song and is expected to raise millions to ease Africa's Ebola crisis. "The record, it's a song, it's a track but it's an event, and the next stage now is to turn it into a phenomenon like it was in the 80s," Geldof told BBC.
Geldof further said that earlier this week he decided to remake the single after the United Nations contacted him asking to raise funds, saying that help was immediately needed in order to prevent the disease from spreading beyond West Africa, reports Reuters.
Ebola has killed more than 5,000 people since it broke out in West Africa earlier this year according to the World Health Organization, mostly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
Bob Geldof said he had spoken to the British finance Minister George Osborne who had agreed to forego the usual tax owed to the government from sales of the record. It means 100 percent of the money raised by the song will go to charity, stated the Telegraph.
He added: "Amazing — that the Government has just said 'fine, keep the tax'".
In response to that statement, the Minister posted on his Twitter saying "It's fantastic that Geldof got so many musicians together again to help fight Ebola — and I wanted to make sure every penny raised goes to combat this terrible disease."
"Whether it's the British public or their Government, we are united in helping lead the world efforts against Ebola."
Geldof has expressed his fears that the song will not raise as much money in an age of free downloads, and insisted supporters to donate their money.
"It really doesn't matter if you don't like this song, it really doesn't matter if you hate all the artists. What you have to do is buy this thing," reports the Telegraph.