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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 October, 2004, 16:42 GMT 17:42 UK
Rock stars back new Band Aid song
Coldplay singer Chris Martin
Coldplay's Chris Martin said he had been approached by Midge Ure
A new version of the Band Aid charity single is being recorded with current stars, according to Midge Ure, one of the singers behind the original song.

Coldplay, Travis, The Darkness and Keane have backed the project, Midge Ure said on his website on Thursday.

The original Band Aid song, Do They Know It's Christmas?, released in 1984, featured artists including Duran Duran, U2, Bananarama and George Michael.

HAVE YOUR SAY
It was a great song first time round and I hope it will be this time as well.
Ed, London UK

It sold 3.5 million copies in the UK to raise money for the Ethiopia famine.

In 1989, a new crop of pop stars including Kylie Minogue, Wet Wet Wet and Bros, as well as Sir Cliff Richard, re-recorded Do They Know It's Christmas?

Odds-on favourite

Band Aid III is already odds-on favourite to be the UK's Christmas number one single.

Bookmaker William Hill is refusing to take bets on the new single because the track is already a "virtual certainty" to top the charts.

"If released, Band Aid is a virtual certainty to take the number one spot," said William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams.

"Were we to include Band Aid in the betting, it would be a red-hot favourite and would decimate the market."

Midge Ure
This song still stands up, that's the important part
Midge Ure
Midge Ure said Sun journalist Dominic Mohan approached him and Bob Geldof about re-recording the single.

"We thought it was a great idea," he said. "So we're looking forward to an Xmas No. 1!"

Coldplay singer Chris Martin and Travis star Fran Healy confirmed they had been approached by Ure.

Healy said Travis were waiting for further details about the recording, but added he supported the initiative to raise awareness and funds for the famine in Sudan.

"This is a fantastic idea," he said. "I will be anywhere they want me to be at anytime and I will cancel any engagement to take part."

Midge Ure, former singer with Ultravox, said there were still big problems in Africa that needed urgent attention.

Band Aid

"The famine doesn't go away," he told the ITV News Channel.

"This song still stands up, that's the important part. Re-record the song, get the new guys on board and it will focus the attention and raise the money for the problems out there."

The original song was conceived after a BBC News report about the famine in Ethiopia almost exactly 20 years ago - 23 October 1984.

Record sales

Within a month, Geldof and Ure had gathered some of the biggest names in rock and pop to record Do They Know It's Christmas?

Fans bought up to 50 copies each, with shops ranging from butchers to Fortnum and Mason stocked it to help make it the second biggest-selling single in UK chart history.

Live Aid, the transatlantic concert that brought the cream of the world's music celebrities together, took place in July 1985.

It is being released on DVD for the first time in November to raise more money for charity.

The Band Aid Trust, the charity that administers all funds raised by Band Aid and Live Aid activities, has distributed $144m (79m) for famine relief in countries like Burkina Faso, Chad, Eritrea and Ethiopia since 1985.

  • Band Aid: The Song that Rocked the World is on BBC Three at 2100 BST on Thursday.




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