LONDON: Stars like One Direction, Bono and Chris Martin featured in the video for the new Band Aid single to raise money for anti-Ebola charities that was shown for the first time on British television on Sunday.
Organiser Bob Geldof presented the song on the X-Factor talent show on channel ITV and said it was about “the most anti-human disease,” which prevents physical contact because of fear of contagion.
The music video begins with graphic images of an Ebola victim’s body being carried away, before switching to London’s Sarm Studios where around 30 stars recorded the Christmas song on Saturday.
“There’s death in every tear,” sings Grammy award-winning diva Angelique Kidjo, followed by a lyric from Coldplay’s Chris Martin: “The Christmas bells that ring there are clanging chimes of doom.”
“Well tonight we’re reaching out and touching you,” Bono sings and Seal continues with: “Bring peace and joy this Christmas to west Africa!”
The single is the 30th anniversary version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” recorded by Geldof and fellow singer Midge Ure in 1984 with other stars to raise money for famine victims in Ethiopia.
The song became one of the best-selling singles ever and led to the hugely popular Live Aid concerts in 1985, which had a record-breaking estimated global television audience of 1.9 billion people.
No live performance linked to the current Band Aid is planned, but Geldof said he was hoping the song will rise quickly in the charts when it is officially released for download on Monday.
“We go to war. We’re going to stop this thing. Buy this song,” Geldof said on Sunday.
“This isn’t about me, it’s not about you, it’s not about them, it’s about us,” he said.
“The reason they did this is that this thing could arrive here on a plane at any time.”
The Ebola outbreak has claimed more than 5,000 lives since last December, according to the World Health Organization — almost all in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone — while the number of infected cases registered worldwide has soared to more than 14,000.