DAY IN HISTORY: Royals open Live Aid

THE world tuned in to watch as the first global concert - Live Aid - was opened by Prince Charles and Princess Diana at Wembley Stadium in London on July 13, 1985.

The brainchild of Boomtown Rats singer Bob Geldof, the "superconcert" was continued at other arenas throughout the world and was linked by satellite to a global audience of more than a billion viewers.

Sparked by the deadly famine ravaging Africa, Geldof brought together some of Europe's greatest musicians to record the hit single "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

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The single, featuring the likes of Phil Collins, Duran Duran, Culture Club and U2, raised more than $10 million.

Inspired by Geldof's vision, US musicians including Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan, Lionel Ritchie, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon and Bruce Springsteen recorded their own famine-busting single "We Are The World".

"We Are The World", which raced to the top of the charts, outperformed it's cross-Atlantic cousin by raising $44 million.

However, with the famine crisis continuing to worsen, Geldof proposed the idea of a global concert which would raise awareness and money for the plight in Africa.

And just 10 weeks later, a bumper bill of 75 acts, including the likes of Sting, Bryan Adams, the Beach Boys, Madonna, Elton John, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, David Bowie, the Who and Queen, took the stage across the world.

The majority of acts played at Wembley Stadium and Philadelphia's JFK Stadium, where 100,00 people turned out to see the highlight of the event: Collins jetting in by Concorde just hours after performing in London.

Viewers from 110 countries watched the proceedings while more than 40 nations held telethons throughout the broadcast.

Both concerts ended with the stars joining together for a rendition of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" (London) and then, six hours later, "We Are The World" in Philadelphia.

Live Aid eventually raised $127 million for the famine relief and prompted nations to make available enough grain to end the immediate hunger crisis.

For his efforts, Geldof was later knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.


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