Band Aid 30’s controversial single ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas‘ stormed to number 1 on the official charts this weekend after an unrivalled 312, 000 sales in its first week. The track which features A- list celebrities including Emeli Sande, One Direction, Ed Sheeran and Ellie Goulding was put together by Sir Bob Geldof in the hope of raising funds for Ebola hit West Africa.
Since its release, the single has sparked huge debate amongst artists and the general public as many claim that the song’s lyrics reinforces the negative stereotype of Africa as a country in need of aid and not a prosperous and thriving continent. Africa has some of the world’s fastest growing economies with Nigeria and South Africa amongst some of the world’s top economies, but a lack of infrastructure and bad leadership has plagued the continent over the years.
Sir Bob Geldof has defended the track, urging people on Sunday night’s X Factor to keep voting and keep donating. He also told the BBC that he had given artists who were unhappy about the lyrics an opportunity to change whatever they found uncomfortable in the song. The Ebola scourge has so far killed over 5, 000 people in West Africa. Despite efforts by health agencies, the disease continues to spread at an alarming rate as the world’s top countries are being urged to do more to tackle the virus.
Some of the stars who performed on the track have been accused of using the track as a cheap way of promoting their own albums, since soe of them currently have singles or albums to promote. However, Emeli Sande who insists that she’s proud of her Zambian roots assured fans that the intent behind the single was only for a good cause. In a statement put on Twitter by the singer, she revealed herself and Angelique Kidjo had made changes to the lyrics but that these changes didn’t make the final cut. She also apologised to anyone who felt offended by the song’s lyrics.
I've been having so many discussions about this all week. Here are my thoughts on the band aid single… pic.twitter.com/djeYgT9elF
— Emeli Sandé (@emelisande) November 22, 2014
British Ghanaian rapper Fuse ODG also said he was asked to sing on the track, but declined because he said it didn’t conform to his new image of Africa, particularly the lyrics.
Do They know its Christmas will be available for sale in stores from December and many predict it will most likely beat the X Factor winner’s single to the Christmas number spot.