Bob Geldof says the new Band Aid single’s sales have been “manic,” telling BBC’s Radio 4 “From what we’ve seen from iTunes it’s gone bonkers. Within four or five minutes we had a million quid.” The single, recorded this weekend in London in time for a national debut on Sunday night’s X Factor, will raise funds to tackle the Ebola crisis in West Africa. It is available for download for $1.29; a CD version for will be released in a few weeks.
Bono, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, and One Direction were among the contributors to “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” Adele did not take part, but Geldof was quick to quash rumors that the singer had snubbed the charity single. “I didn’t call Adele at all because I don’t have her number. There is no snub. It’s nonsense. Complete nonsense.” The original version – 30 years old this Christmas – was put together by Geldof and Midge Ure in reponse to the famine in Ethiopia; while it was not the first time pop stars did charity work, it caught the public’s attention like no other, spawning the concert Live Aid in 1985, and setting a trend for celebrity charity work. The new single has slightly altered lyrics to reflect the current crisis.