Do they know they're No 1 for Christmas?

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The Independent Culture

Band Aid 20, the charity supergroup featuring the cream of the British pop world including Coldplay's Chris Martin, Dido and Robbie Williams, became the Christmas number one yesterday.

Band Aid 20, the charity supergroup featuring the cream of the British pop world including Coldplay's Chris Martin, Dido and Robbie Williams, became the Christmas number one yesterday.

The 20th anniversary version of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" kept its grip on the top spot for the third week in a row, keeping Ronan Keating's collaboration with Yusuf Islam (formerly known as Cat Stevens) in second place. It is the third time a Band Aid single has been number one at Christmas.

The charity single ­ to raise money to fight hunger in Africa, mainly Darfur in Sudan ­ received a boost three days ago when the entrepreneur and philanthropist Tom Hunter said he would donate up to £6m to the cause. Inspired by a television documentary that suggested that the situation in Ethiopia had barely improved since 1984, the Scottish businessman, who began his £500m business empire selling trainers from a van, promised to match every £10 spent on the concert DVD and every £4 on the single.

The first version sold 3.5 million copies, raising about £8m for famine relief. The 1989 Band Aid II version with artists including Kylie Minogue, Wet Wet Wet, Chris Rea and Cliff Richard hit the number one spot at Christmas with a re-recording of the single, again raising millions of pounds for the starving in Ethiopia.

Sir Bob Geldof, who co-wrote "Do They Know It's Christmas?" with Midge Ure for the first Band Aid appeal, welcomed the number one spot. "It's an excuse to think about someone else this Christmas," he told BBC radio.

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