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Geldof: New Band Aid single to help fight Ebola

One Direction, Ed Sheeran and a host of other stars are to raise money to fight Ebola with a 30th anniversary version of the Band Aid charity single first recorded in aid of famine relief in Ethiopia.

Bob Geldof and fellow singer-songwriter Midge Ure, the original Band Aid organizers, announced plans to re-record the single — “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” — at a news conference Monday.

Geldof reflected on the cruelty of Ebola, which is spread by contact with the bodily fluids of a person infected with the virus. “Mothers can’t cradle their children; lovers can’t comfort each other; wives can’t hold their husbands’ hands while they die. That’s not right. It can be stopped,” he said.

He also praised the “immensity of bravery” of those caring for Ebola patients in West Africa, where the worst affected nations are Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, including British healthcare workers and military.

The lineup for the 30th anniversary single combines some of those involved in the original recording in 1984 as well as fresh talent. Besides pop superstars One Direction, the artists signed up to take part include U2 frontman Bono, Coldplay’s Chris Martin and Ellie Goulding.

The new version of the track will be recorded this weekend at the same London studios where the original was created. Some of the lyrics will be updated to reflect the different circumstances of this crisis, 30 years on.