Ed Sheeran among Band Aid 30 artists to record charity single Do They Know It’s Christmas?

Singer-songwriter Sheeran, the former Thomas Mills High School student, has enjoyed strong chart suc

Singer-songwriter Sheeran, the former Thomas Mills High School student, has enjoyed strong chart success in recent years. Photo: PA. - Credit: PA

Suffolk singer Ed Sheeran will join One Direction and Bono in singing Do They Know It’s Christmas? in a fourth version of the Band Aid charity single.

Sir Bob Geldof today announced the hit song will be re-recorded with a new generation of acts and some veteran stars to raise funds in the fight against the “filthy” and “inhuman” virus Ebola in West Africa.

The Boomtown Rats frontman said that he had been inspired to re-record the song because of the “phenomenal bravery of the National Health doctors and nurses who volunteered to go out there”.

It will be the fourth time the song – first released 30 years ago – has been recorded, with the most recent effort released a decade ago.

At a press conference in London alongside Midge Ure – with whom he co-wrote the track – he said it was not about nostalgia.

Singer-songwriter Sheeran, the former Thomas Mills High School student, has enjoyed strong chart success in recent years. The 23-year-old’s most recent album x, released in June, was the number one album in 12 countries, including the US, and was the fastest selling album in the UK in 2014 (It stayed at number one in the UK for nine consecutive weeks).

The album has also given him his first two UK numbers one singles – Sing and Thinking Out Loud.

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Meanwhile, also appearing in ‘Band Aid 30’ are acts including Sam Smith, Chris Martin, Paloma Faith, Emeli Sande and Sinead O’Connor.

Listing some of the singers on board so far, Sir Bob said that “giants of the past” as well as “our own contemporaries said that they will come along to the party”.

He called on people to pay for the physical single - with a cover sleeve by Tracey Emin - instead of downloading it, or watching it on YouTube for free.

The single will not be available for streaming on Spotify until January.

Sir Bob said that he had written to David Bowie to ask him to “reintroduce the video like he did 30 years ago”.

He said that the lyrics had been re-tweaked because Africa was now “booming”.

The original version, a response to the famine which was causing a huge death toll in Ethiopia, was released in 1984 and went on to sell 3.7 million copies and raise £8 million.

The new version will be recorded this Saturday and should be available for download on Monday morning.

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