The world’s biggest music stars, most of them British, are in London to record the Band Aid 30 single to raise money for the fight against Ebola, the Guardian reported. The recording of Do They Know It’s Christmas, produced on the 30th anniversary of the original song, which sought famine relief in Ethiopia, should be released Monday.
Chancellor of the Exchequer and Second Lord of the Treasury George Osborne on Saturday agreed to waive VAT on the single. He tweeted: “Just spoke to the remarkable Bob Geldof. Told him we’ll waive VAT on BandAid30 so every penny goes to fight Ebola.”
Will you offer us a hand? Every gift, regardless of size, fuels our future.
Your critical contribution enables us to maintain our independence from shareholders or wealthy owners, allowing us to keep up reporting without bias. It means we can continue to make Jewish Business News available to everyone.
You can support us for as little as $1 via PayPal at email@example.com.
Thousands crowded at Sarm studios in Notting Hill, west London, to watch the arriving artists, which included One Direction, Paloma Faith, Disclosure, Jessie Ware, Ellie Goulding and Clean Bandit.
The location is where the 1980s stars Wham!, Duran Duran and Culture Club recorded the original song.
Bob Geldof said: “It very much reminds me of 30 years ago. Everyone is bleary – pop singers, as George Osborne said, they are not very good in the morning, are they? – [but] it is cool. People are excited and that excitement builds. They are glad to be here.
“The record, it’s a song, it’s a track, but it’s an event, and the next stage now is to turn this into a phenomenon like it was in the ‘80s, and the only way to do that is to get people to buy the thing.”
Emeli Sandé said Geldof “gave a really touching speech before we started singing so I think that really got everybody in the mind-frame that we needed to be in to remind us it’s fun, but we’re here for a really serious reason.”
Sam Smith said he was anxious about his performance. “But it’s not about how my voice sounds in terms of whether it’s suitable for me. It’s quite an easy song to sing, I should be OK, ” he said. “I’m very excited to do something for the cause and that is the main thing for me. I really want to draw the focus in on that.”
According to the Guardian, a spokesperson for Bookmaker Coral predicted that the new single would be the Christmas number one hit: “The song was a major success when it was first released in 1984 and we think that Sir Bob Geldof is almost a cert to reach number one again.”
The song will not be available on streaming services until January, to encourage as many people as possible to buy the single.