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Last Updated: Monday, 1 November, 2004, 17:03 GMT
Artist Hirst designs Band Aid CD
Damien Hirst
Damien Hirst was at the forefront of the 1990s Britart movement
Controversial modern artist Damien Hirst is to design the CD sleeve for the new Band Aid single.

Do They Know It's Christmas? is being re-recorded by current stars including Robbie Williams, Dido and Chris Martin.

The original 1984 song sold 3.5 million copies in the UK for charity. The new version will be released on 29 November, 15 days after being recorded.

But Oasis star Noel Gallagher and Blur's Damon Albarn are definitely not taking part, a spokesman said.

They had been among those previously confirmed by the project's organiser, former Ultravox singer Midge Ure.

Sugababes (above)
Robbie Williams
Justin Hawkins (The Darkness)
Chris Martin (Coldplay)
Fran Healy (Travis)
Beverley Knight
Danny Goffey (Supergrass)
Skye Edwards (Morcheeba)
Midge Ure
A spokesman for Gallagher said he would be out of the country when the single is recorded on 14 November.

But other artists to get on board include Sugababes and Morcheeba's Skye Edwards, with Supergrass' Danny Goffey on drums.

The Darkness' Justin Hawkins, Travis singer Fran Healy and R&B singers Beverley Knight and Jamelia have also been confirmed.

They were still waiting to hear back from Keane and Snow Patrol among others, a Band Aid spokesman said.

Duran Duran, U2, Sting and George Michael were among the big names to lend their voices to the first Band Aid single, which was conceived by Bob Geldof after seeing news of famine in Ethiopia.

Pop artist Sir Peter Blake, who created the iconic cover image for The Beatles' Sergeant Pepper album, designed the original Band Aid sleeve.

Hirst, best-known for his animals suspended in tanks of formaldehyde, had not been given any specific brief, a Band Aid spokesman said.

'Immense fundraiser'

"Obviously the line-up for this new recording is a very contemporary line-up, so we felt we wanted to go to a contemporary artist," he said.

"He welcomed it and immediately said 'yes'. Obviously, he's doing it all for nothing and I would imagine the piece of artwork will become an immense fundraiser for the Band Aid Trust."

The CD single will cost 3.99 and proceeds will go to help famine relief in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Organisers said manufacturing plants are gearing up for rapid production, and bookmakers expect the song to be the Christmas number one.

Organisers also say the song is being lined up to be "one of the biggest internet download singles ever".


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