25 November 1984: There was widespread famine in Ethiopia. Images were being shown on TV of people literally starving to death. Bob Geldof, a rock singer with Boomtown Rats, felt he had to do something. So, with Midge Ure, he wrote a Christmas song, called up his famous singer friends to help record the song, and produced 'Do they know it's Christmas?'. It was the first single ever to sell over 3 million copies in the UK. All the proceeds were given to the Band Aid Trust for African famine relief.
28 January 1985: Inspired by what Geldof had done, 45 musicians got together in New York to record 'We are the World', written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. The group called itself USA for Africa - United Support of Artists. This was also a Number One hit.
...do they know it's Christmas?
What Bob Geldof did in 1985 and 2005
13 July 1985: Geldof organised Live Aid: a rock concert held simultaneously on both sides of the Atlantic (in London at Wembley Stadium and in Philadelphia at the JFK Stadium), and broadcast around the world. (Geldof estimated that nearly 85% of world's TVs were tuned into it.) The concert raised nearly $100 million.
Geldof raised millions for Africa. But he also invented two big fundraising ideas: the pop single recorded and produced entirely free, and the mega-concert broadcast globally. He alerted a whole generation of young people to the idea that the world needed fixing. And he went on to help set up the Commission for Africa.
2 July 2005: Geldof organised ten Live8 concerts on to get the G8 rich nations committed to eliminating poverty in Africa.
Buy the various Band Aid, Live Aid and USA for Africa CDs.
New recordings of 'Do they know it's Christmas' were made in 1989 and 2004.
The Band Aid Charitable Trust continues to receive income from sales and royalties, which it donates as aid for Africa.
In 2003, Band Aid's income was used to support food security, fresh water, eyecare and healthcare projects in west and east Africa. The 2004 recording helped victims of famine in Darfur, Sudan.
Live Aid: www.liveaiddvd.net
The 20th anniversary version of 'Do they know it's Christmas': www.bandaid20.com
The unofficial Live Aid site: www.live-aid.info
All about Band Aid at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Band_Aid
All about USA for Africa: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USA_for_Africa
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Do they know it's Christmas?
Listen to the Band Aid 20 recording of Bob Geldof and Midge Ure's song at www.bandaid20.com
Go to www.365act.com and see what you can do to help create a better, fairer world.