‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’

On November 25, 1984, charity supergroup Band Aid united to record “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” The group, featuring mainly British and Irish musicians and recording artists, was formed to raise money for anti-famine efforts in Ethiopia.

The group’s name stemmed from the idea that the musicians were providing aid to the less fortunate and suggested that their project was likened to putting a band-aid on a wound.

“Do They Know It’s Christmas?” was released on December 3, 1984, and went straight to number 1 in the UK singles chart, outselling all the other records in the chart combined. It became the fastest-selling single of all time in the UK, selling a million copies in the first week alone. It stayed at number 1 for five weeks, selling over three million copies and becoming easily the biggest-selling single of all time in the UK.

The single sold over two million copies around the globe and raised more than $24,000,000 (USD). The success influenced two organizations of live benefit concerts run by Celebrity Charity. The concerts were USA for Africa and Live Aid and were broadcast in over 165 countries across the globe. Band Aid and Live Aid combined raised about 150 million (USD) for the famine relief effort in Ethiopia.