In December 2009, Rage Against the Machine’s song “Killing in the Name” became the number 1 Christmas song in the UK charts, selling over 500, 000 copies. The single’s first edition was released in early 1992, but that didn’t stop it from being in the spotlight almost two decades later.
The secret to the unexpected success of the band’s single lies in the actions of a British DJ, who goes by the name of Jonathan Morter. Jon has a history of trying to prevent X-factor hits becoming Christmas number ones on the UK charts. In 2009 he started a campaign to stop the X-factor hit “The Climb” by Joe McElderry from hitting the number one spot. Using the help of the social network Facebook, he managed to take “Killing in the Name” right to the top. Morter’s campaign met serious disapproval from Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole, who was McElderry’s mentor during the X-factor season. They branded the campaign’s supporters as “stupid”, “”hate-mob” and “bullies”.
Jon Morter’s campaign helped to not only popularise the band’s single, but also succeeded in raising more than £163,000 for homeless charity Shelter.