Ebola Charity Single Featuring One Direction Off to Strong Sales Start

"Do They Know It's Christmas?" debuted on the U.K. version of 'X Factor' and has drawn strong pre-sales on iTunes, says organizer Bob Geldof

Sales of the new single by charity pop ensemble Band Aid have “gone bonkers,” according to organizer Bob Geldof.

Do They Know It’s Christmas?, the fourth version of the charity song originally released in 1984, was recorded in London on Saturday, featuring the likes of One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Bono and Chris Martin.

A video for the single which this time is aimed at raising money to tackle the Ebola crisis in Africa premiered on Sunday’s episode of the U.K. version of The X Factor on ITV, after which iTunes started accepting pre-orders. The single officially went on sale on Monday.

"From what we’ve seen from iTunes, it’s gone bonkers,” Geldof told BBC radio. “Within four or five minutes we had a million [pounds],” equivalent to $1.57 million.

iTunes said it would waive its usual fees for the single, while the U.K. government announced that it would be exempt from value-added tax.

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