Sinead O’Connor on Band Aid 30 Criticism: ‘Everyone Should Shut the F--- Up’

Bob Geldof of The Boomtown Rats performs
Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns via Getty Images

Bob Geldof of The Boomtown Rats performs on stage at O2 Academy on October 22, 2014 in Sheffield, United Kingdom.

Lily Allen has called it “smug.” Emeli Sande has apologized if its lyrics “caused offence.” Adele is rumored to have snubbed the sessions. But Sinead O’Connor isn’t having any of it. The sharp-tongued Irish singer has hit back at critics of the latest version of the Band Aid all-star charity single, urging them all to “shut the f--- up”.

O’Connor performed on the latest recording of “Do They Know Its Christmas?” which is the runaway No. 1 single on this week’s Official U.K. Chart, ringing up more than 312,000 sales to make it the year’s fastest seller, even without the benefit of physical sales or streaming (the CD will drop in December). The song, different versions of which have topped the chart on three separate occasions (1984, 1989, and 2004), is raising cash to fight the Ebola virus in west Africa.

The project, co-ordinated by Bob Geldof and co-written with Midge Ure, was conceived in 1984 to raise funds to fight famine in Ethiopia (it also inspired Geldof to launch Live Aid the following year). This time around, Band Aid 30 features the vocal talents of One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Bono, Chris Martin, Ellie Goulding, Rita Ora and Sande. However, the latest exercise has taken a beating in the press and social media with many arguing that the celeb-infused pop song was an ill-advised solution to the Ebola crisis. The Guardian published a critique of the project under the headline, "Band Aid 30: clumsy, patronising and wrong in so many ways."

British daily broadsheet asked O’Connor her thoughts on the criticism from the music community. “I think everyone should shut the f--- up. If you didn't like the lyrics you shouldn't have agreed to sing the song. I think it's smug of Lily Allen to say it's smug.” She continued, “The assumption that anyone performing on the record has not privately given money is exactly that, an assumption.” And on Blur frontman Damon Albarn’s suggestions that the effort was a patronizing, misguided one? “And who gives a f--- what Damon f------ Albarn thinks,” was O’Connor’s response.

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Never one to dwell on criticism, Geldof is said to have contacted David Guetta to work-up an EDM remix of the single. Geldof reportedly told Vodaphone Big Top 40 how the collaboration came together. "I was in France, I made contact with David Guetta, and he texted back after I asked if he was interested in the mix, and he said, 'Ye, why not.' So we'll have the whole dance scene covered."

The Boomtown Rats frontman has admitted he’s not the biggest fan of his own song. In 2010, the Daily Mail quoted the Irishman, "I am responsible for two of the worst songs in history. One is 'Do They Know It’s Christmas?' and the other one is 'We Are The World.'  'Any day soon, I will go to the supermarket, head to the meat counter and it will be playing. Every f--king Christmas."


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