The pair set up the Band Aid charity in 1984, when they wrote ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ to help fight famine in Ethiopia.
The song was that year’s Christmas No 1 and went on to be the best-selling single of all-time in Britain. It has sold over two million copies and raised over £200m for famine relief.
Bob Geldof and Midge Ure call James O’Brien to confirm that 100% of the proceeds from Band Aid's ‘Do They Know It's Christmas’ go to charity.
— LBC (@LBC) December 20, 2019
Rumours that Geldof and Ure took cash from Band Aid resurfaced following a discussion on LBC Radio’s discussion show fronted by James O’Brien yesterday (December 19).
O’Brien said he was shocked at the rumours and immediately doubted they were true. But several Twitter users contacted the broadcaster to say they were convinced the musicians were taking cash from Band Aid.
Geldof and Ure phoned O’Brien’s show this morning to totally refute the claims. Geldof said neither of them had taken “so much as a cup of coffee” from Band Aid, adding that the accounts could be checked with the Charity Commission. He also said proceeds of ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ can be checked with songwriting royalties body PRS.
Ure said: “It’s understandable in this day and age that people live in doubt, when we’re surrounded by a sea of lies and untruths. But these claims are nonsense. In 35 years, neither Bob nor I have received a penny from Band Aid or Live Aid.”
Geldof added: “These things get fed into the Twittersphere and, just like with the lying President of the United States, these lies get treated as actual facts. They need to be nailed. We’ve put up with these lies for quite a while, but we got sick of it yesterday.”
There have been three subsequent Band Aid line-ups re-recording ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’. Band Aid II in 1989 starred Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Bros, while Band Aid 20 in 2004 featured Paul McCartney, Chris Martin and Dizzee Rascal.