Bob Geldof has told Band Aid critics to “f**k off” after Ebola nurse William Pooley said the single was “cringeworthy” and “culturally ignorant”.
The former Boomtown Rats singer said Pooley, who survived Ebola and flew back to Sierra Leone to help fight the disease, needed to calm down.
"Please. It's a pop song. Relax", he said.
Pooley told Radio Times: “It’s Africa, not another planet. That sort of cultural ignorance is a bit cringeworthy. There’s a lyric about ‘death in every tear’. It’s a bit much.”
After hearing his comment, Geldof told The Telegraph: “It’s a pop song, it’s not a doctoral thesis. [Critics] can f*** off.”
Other "Do They Know It’s Christmas?" critics include Emeli Sande, who sang on the single but later said she thought the lyrics needed to be changed.
Lily Allen also revealed she turned down the offer to feature on the track, saying she would prefer to “do my charitable bit by donating actual money”.
Geldof said his critics “were more than welcome to be offended” by him.
“I couldn’t give a toss. Seriously, I’m the wrong guy. The reality behind the pop song – Christmassy, corny, whatever you think about it – the reality behind it is stark,” he said.
“If it’s a pop song that can help ease the pain, the agony, if they can die with a little more dignity then, yeah, I’m there. It’s pretty simple.”
The new version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” - which became the fastest-selling single of the year - marks the 30th anniversary of the song, which was originally put together to raise funds for famine relief in Ethiopia in the Eighties.
The single finally reached shops this week after topping the UK top 40 on download and pre-order sales alone.
Pooley, from Eyke in Suffolk, became the first confirmed Briton to contract Ebola and was flown back to the UK in August.
The 29-year-old was treated with the experimental drug ZMapp and left hospital in September after making a full recovery.
He returned to Sierra Leone in October to resume his work as a nurse in an Ebola isolation unit run by medical staff from the UK.