In the late '90s, the Indiana University a cappella group Straight No Chaser started performing "Africa," and it quickly became their signature song. Hoping to highlight other parts of their repertoire, they dropped it from their setlist during a 1998 Christmas concert on campus, but did incorporate it into their version of "Twelve Days of Christmas
," using the melody to support various Christmas songs ("I decked the halls down in Africa..."). This was an in-joke to their fans, who cheered wildly when they heard it out of nowhere in the middle of a Christmas song.
In 2006, one of the group members posted this performance on YouTube
, which launched just a year earlier. It became one of the first viral videos and earned them a record deal with Atlantic, which convinced the group to re-form. This performance made its way to many perennial Christmas playlists, giving "Africa" a place in the holiday music canon.