Band Aid's Christmas No 1 is given the Glee treatment
US TV stars will boost charity by introducing song to a new generation
Monday 12 December 2011
When it topped the charts 27 years ago, it featured the biggest stars of the day in an unlikely collective that propelled Do They Know It's Christmas? to record-breaking sales. Now the cast of the US musical show Glee is to introduce the charity record to a new generation, with not a mullet haircut in sight.
The single will provide a major financial boost for Band Aid, which this year has spent more than £3m on emergency aid for thousands of starving and sick people in East Africa.
The Glee version will be screened in an episode to be broadcast this week and feature on the show's Christmas album and like the original, will see each line taken by a new singer.
Fans will be able to download the single, potentially raising millions of pounds from a generation of young people not even born when 1.9 billion watched the Live Aid concerts in London and Philadelphia in 1985.
Sir Bob Geldof, who set up Band Aid after watching a report on famine in Ethiopia, said: "It could not be more timely now that Glee with its vast global audience of young people reintroduce [the song] to a whole new constituency who are probably unaware of the great tragedy unfolding amongst the hungry, poor and dying of Somalia as a result of drought and a bitter and pointless civil war."
The release will boost the charity's coffers after a year which saw it channel most of its reserves into 11 projects in East Africa, which has been ravaged by famine and conflict. They include £1m to Save The Children, which used the money to buy life-saving food for more than 25,000 children, and 5,000 pregnant and breastfeeding Somali woman, while providing schools and communities in the country with safe water and improved sanitation. Band Aid more than trebled the amount of money it donated this year because of the crises in Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and the newly-formed Republic of South Sudan, which has left more than 13 million people in need of food, water and emergency healthcare after one of the worst droughts in 60 years.
Conflict in Somalia has caused hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.
The hit Do They Know It's Christmas? went straight to No 1 in 1984 and became the fastest-selling single in the UK, shifting a million copies in the first week. It has, according to the Official Charts Company, sold 3.7 million copies in the UK to date – last year it reached 54 in the charts – helping to raise £120m for Band Aid.
The UK charity is now counting on the "Glee effect", which has seen the high school troupe sell more than 36 million digital singles since the hit comedy-drama TV series, that has also spawned a film, first aired in 2009.
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
MOBO Awards 2014: Jess Glynne hits back at 'ridiculous' criticism of nominated white artists
American Horror Story season 4, Fox - review: Silly, sensational and sensitive
The Apprentice 2014: Nurun Ahmed and Lindsay Booth fired in double elimination
MOBO Awards 2014: Sam Smith sweeps the board with four gongs
The Apprentice, episode 3 - review: Lord Sugar hacks away at the deadwood with double elimination
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters