| 14.3°C Belfast

Band Aid 30 storms to top spot


Midge Ure (left) and Bob Geldof organised the Band Aid 30 single, which has moved to the top of the charts

Midge Ure (left) and Bob Geldof organised the Band Aid 30 single, which has moved to the top of the charts

Midge Ure (left) and Bob Geldof organised the Band Aid 30 single, which has moved to the top of the charts

Band Aid 30's Do They Know It's Christmas? - which features a host of stars - stormed to the top of the singles chart today.

The charity single, organised once again by Bob Geldof, has shifted more than 312,000 copies to make it the year's fastest-selling single, the Official Charts Company said.

The track, with all proceeds going toward the fight against Ebola in west Africa, has outsold the rest of the top five combined and scored the biggest one-week sales since The X Factor's James Arthur moved 489,000 copies of his winner's single Impossible in 2012.

The massive sales haul of Band Aid 30 - which features Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, One Direction, Rita Ora and Bastille among its star cast - outshines Band Aid 20's first-week sales in 2004 - their version of the song sold 297,000 in its first seven days.

The 2014 version of Do They Know It's Christmas? has achieved this milestone without physical sales or streaming.

A spokesman for the Official Charts Company said: "Band Aid 20 sold 200,000 each week for its first four weeks on sale - can Band Aid 30 keep up its sales momentum and beat its predecessor?

"It's possible - a physical version is set to be released in December, which means the track is still a serious contender for 2014's official Christmas number one."

Band Aid 30's feat means it is the fourth time a version of the song has reached number one.

Its success comes despite controversy over its lyrics. Pop singer Emeli Sande has said the song needs rewriting and apologised if the latest version "caused offence".

The star, who is involved in the latest remake, posted a message on Twitter in which she said lyrics she and African artist Angelique Kidjo recorded did not make the final version.

There have been some complaints over the song's content, with some of the lyrics changed to reflect the Ebola crisis in West Africa.

Sande tweeted: "I've been having so many discussions about this all week. Here are my thoughts on the band aid single..."

Her message continued: "Ye, I agree the lyric needs changing. In fact I feel a whole new song is required. Angelique Kidjo and I made and sang our own edits. Unfortunately, none of these made the final cut."

She added: "I apologise if the lyrics of the song have caused offence. I wish the changes had been kept but that is out of my control.

"The sole objective is to raise awareness and money to provide medical aid to those suffering the Ebola outbreak, which is being worsened and amplified by poverty."

New at number two in the singles chart is Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne. Real Love is the second collaboration between the two acts following their number one and million seller Rather Be.

Olly Murs is also a new entry at number three with Wrapped Up featuring Travie McCoy while Ed Sheeran's former number one Thinking Out Loud falls two places to number four.

DJ and producer David Guetta scores his 20th top 10 hit in the UK, going straight in at number five with Dangerous featuring Sam Martin.

On the album chart, One Direction storm straight in at the top with Four, racking up a massive 142,000 sales, outselling its nearest rival by more than 90,000 copies.Their fourth album is their third in a row to top the chart.

Ed Sheeran and x has a 22nd week in the top 10 at number two while Sam Smith's debut In The Lonely Hour advances one place to number three.

Last week's number one from Pink Floyd, The Endless River, drops three places to number four and Foo Fighters' Sonic Highways also slips three to five.

After hearing the track had reached number one, Geldof told BBC Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills: "I'm constantly amazed by this country. I love living in Britain at times like this. It just seems that everyone just says 'yeah, heads down, we're going to do this' and, believe me, we are going to do it."

He added: "Thanks so much to everybody. You are absolutely amazing. I'm so proud. Thank you."