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Band Aid 20

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Band Aid 20 was the 2004 incarnation of the charity group Band Aid. The group, which included Daniel Bedingfield, Justin Hawkins of The Darkness, Chris Martin of Coldplay, Bono of U2, and Paul McCartney, re-recorded the 1984 song “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, written by Band Aid organizers Bob Geldof and Midge Ure.

The song was recorded on 14 November 2004, to benefit Sudan’s troubled Darfur region, and was released that same month. The single became the UK’s biggest seller of 2004 as well as the Christmas Number 1.[1]

Bono, Paul McCartney and George Michael were the only artists from the original Band Aid who had been asked back to lend their voices to Band Aid 20. There was a reported dispute over the line ‘Tonight thank God it’s them, instead of you’, which Bono sang on the original version. Justin Hawkins, of The Darkness, laid down a version of the line, but Bono insisted on re-recording his version, which was eventually used on the record.

A special documentary titled Band Aid 20: Justice, Not Charity which went behind-the-scenes of the new recording was broadcast by BBC One on 6 December 2004.

The Band Aid 20 single was actually doubled when it was first played simultaneously on The Chris Moyles Show (on BBC Radio 1) and the breakfast shows on Virgin and Capital radio, at 8am on 16 November 2004. The video was first broadcast in the UK simultaneously over multiple channels, including the five UK terrestrial channels, at 5.55pm on 18 November 2004, with an introduction by Madonna.

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