Bob Geldof revives Band Aid to fight Ebola

The Boomtown Rats frontman Geldof pulled together the Band Aid supergroup to record 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' in 1984. Now he says a new line-up, which could include One Direction, Ed Sheeran, and Sam Smith, will re-record the song. 

Musician and philanthropist Bob Geldof, who in 1984 inspired a generation of rock stars to record a charity single for Africa, will raise money to combat Ebola with a new version of the song.

Geldof, frontman for Irish new wave band The Boomtown Rats, pulled together the Band Aid supergroup for "Do They Know It's Christmas?" three decades ago to help those affected by famine in Ethiopia.

Geldof confirmed at a conference in London that the song would be re-recorded. The new line-up is expected to include boy band One Direction and singers Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith, British media reports said.

The original song, which raised 8 million pounds ($11 million), featured some of the era's biggest acts including U2's BonoGeorge Michael, and David Bowie. It has been re-recorded twice in 1989 and 2004.

Geldof co-wrote the song with Ultravox singer Midge Ure. It topped the charts in 1984 and sold millions of copies, with proceeds going to Ethiopian famine relief.

They followed it up with Live Aid in 1985, a transatlantic concert that raised an estimated $100 million for Ethiopia.

According to a 2007 Monitor article, Geldof wrote in a letter to contributors in 1992, “The experts will tell you it's hopeless. It is not a hopeless thing for one individual to care for another, to extend the hand of sympathy and shared humanity.... Ask those people if it's hopeless. Ask especially the poorest of the poor ... ask them ... why they do not just give in and succumb to what seems to be their inevitable fate? Because they too don't believe in a world without hope."

Ebola has killed 4,950 people out of more than 13,000 infected since it broke out in West Africa earlier this year, according to the World Health Organization, mostly in Sierra LeoneLiberia and Guinea.

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