In an effort organized by Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof, marquee names like Bono, Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, Sinead O’Connor, Bastille, Ed Sheeran, and One Direction (with more to come) have reportedly agreed to lend their vocals to an updated rendition of “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” which follows three previously recorded versions recorded for charity in 1984, 1989, and 2004. Where the previous anthems were meant to raise money to help famine in Ethiopia, 2014’s “Do They Know?” will have a new set of lyrics to raise awareness for the Ebola epidemic in Africa.
Speaking at a press conference, Geldof — who initially fronted the Band Aid project in ’84 — delved into the most pressing issues he wants the track to spotlight. “For 30 years, we’ve been boring people to death about the great inequalities of the world, whereby 50 percent still live on two dollars a day. That’s disgraceful. It’s ridiculous, and it’s unnecessary,” said Geldof. “And what they were dying of in 1984 was of course hunger, but they died essentially because they were poor. We know we can contain Ebola; we have the doctors, the nurses, medicines and state systems. We have money. They’re dying again because they are extremely poor. That is radically unacceptable.”
“Do They Know It’s Christmas” will be produced by Paul Epworth, who has also manned the boards for FKA Twigs, Adele, and Lana Del Rey. Watch the original version below, and marvel at what a banner year it’s been for getting gigantic groups of massively famous musicians together on singles.