Published: 13th July 2021
#ThrowbackToday: How Live Aid, the superconcert for a good cause, rocked the world
In today's #TBT, we try to relive Live Aid, a 'global jukebox' held to raise funds for famine relief in Ethiopia. And what an impressive line-up it gave us! Let's check out a few of the highlights
Phenomenal performers, one day — July 13, 1985.
All these musicians with a heart of gold agreed to perform at Live Aid, a fundraising initiative for famine relief in Ethiopia. Dubbed as a global jukebox, it was held at Wembley Stadium, UK and John F Kennedy Stadium, US. But what it's most noted for is its television broadcast viewed by 1.9 billion people from 150 nations. This constituted a whopping 40 per cent of the world! Over $125 million was raised via this superconcert, the brainchild of Bob Geldof, an Irish singer. Though an expose later did reveal that as much as 20% of the funds were diverted to pockets of the powerful in Ethiopia but Geldof repeatedly refuted these allegations.
While English drummer Phil Collins played at Wembley and flew to JFK Stadium after, the man who stole the show was British band Queen's frontman Freddie Mercury. He flexed his vocal cords to perform crowd favourites like Bohemian Rhapsody, We Will Rock You and with We Are the Champions, they gave the ultimate finish to their set. As American musician Dave Grohl said, “They walked away being the greatest band you’d ever seen in your life.” As far as the US concert goes, it ended with a beautiful rendition of We Are the World.