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Single by Chanteurs sans Frontières
LabelEMI Pathé Marconi
Songwriter(s)Renaud Séchan
Franck Langolff
Producer(s)Franck Langolff
Thomas Noton

"Éthiopie" is a charity song recorded in 1985 by the collective band known under the name 'Chanteurs sans Frontières'. The song achieved a huge success in France, topping the chart for two months and becoming one of the best-selling singles in that country.

Background and writing[edit]

Chanteurs sans Frontières was a French association founded in 1985 following the English-speaking world model of the bands Band Aid and USA for Africa with the same purpose: providing assistance to victims of the famine then raging in Ethiopia. The association was presided by Antoine di Zazzo, the general director of EMI Pathé Marconi, and was led by Dominique Quiliquini (Renaud's wife), Francis Cabrel (treasurer), Franck Langolff (composer of music) and Rony Brauman (president of Médecins sans Frontières). The idea of a single was found by Valérie Lagrange and under the direction of Renaud.[1]

The song was written by Renaud and the music composed by Franck Langolff. It was produced by Franck Langolff and Thomas Noton.

The total donations reached 23,000,000 francs distributed to various associations : Médecins sans Frontières (90%), AICF, Médecins du monde, and Restos du Cœur.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Ethiopie" — 5:25
  2. "Ethiopie" (instrumental) — 4:07

Artists who participated in the song[edit]

These are the artists who participated in the recordings:[2]

Charts performances and sales[edit]

The single went straight to number 6 on the French SNEP Singles Chart, on May 18, 1985. It jumped to number 1 the following weeks and stayed at the top for eight consecutive weeks. After that, the single slowly dropped but remained for 14 weeks in the top ten and 22 weeks on the chart (top 50).[3]

Certified Platinum disc by the SNEP in 1985 for a minimum of 1,000,000 copies sold,[4] the vinyl was quickly sold more than one million copies and yielded over 10 million francs (1 million euros ½), which were donated to Médecins sans Frontières association. It was the best-selling single of 1985 and the third-best-selling single of the 1980s in France.

According to Infodisc website, the song is the eighth-best-selling single of all time in France, with about 1,724,000 copies sold.[5] To date, this song remains the best-selling charity single in France.


Country Certification Date Sales certified Physical sales
France[4] Platinum 1985 1,000,000 1,724,000+


Chart (1985) Peak
Eurochart Hot 100 19
French SNEP Singles Chart[3] 1


  1. ^ Elia Habib, Muz hit. tubes, p. 43 (ISBN 2-9518832-0-X)
  2. ^ Names of the artists are written on the single cover (see infobox)
  3. ^ a b "Éthiopie", in French Singles Chart Lescharts.com (Retrieved April 20, 2008)
  4. ^ a b French certifications See: "Les Ventes" => "Toutes les certifications depuis 1973" =>"CHANTEURS SANS FRONTIERES" Infodic.fr (Retrieved April 21, 2008)
  5. ^ Best-sellings singles of all time in France Infodisc.fr (Retrieved April 21, 2008)