The Who, Brian May on U.K. Charity Single—Listen

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In the wake of the devastating fire that took at least 79 lives in London last week, a new multi-artist single—a cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s timeless hit “Bridge Over Troubled Water”—was released today (June 21) in the U.K. Among the artists appearing on the recording, the proceeds of which will benefit victims and their families, are The Who, Brian May of Queen and Nile Rodgers of Chic.

The track was released just one week after the blaze, a remarkable feat and display of commitment.

The artists, collectively called Artists for Grenfell, came together at the behest of X Factor and American Idol mogul Simon Cowell. The funds will be distributed via the London Community Foundation.

The newly recorded and quickly released track features, in addition to the artists named above, dozens of contemporary and veteran stars, most from England and other European countries. The list of performers includes James Blunt, Gregory Porter, Carl Barat, RAYE, Stormzy, Bastille, Anne Marie and Ella Eyre.

Pete Townshend, who played acoustic guitar on the track, told the Daily Mirror: “It’s fantastic, I promise you you’re going to love it. What they’ve done is so great.”

Related: Brian May has revealed that more Queen-David Bowie collaborations have been discovered

Cowell told The Sun, “You’ve got to be really sensitive about what we do here. We listened to a lot of songs and with this, you kind of want do to something where you feel the people involved in this are sending a message to them, as well as raising money, so it felt like the right thing to do.”

Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who

Following the initial announcement of the project, on their Facebook page the Who said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with those who suffered in the disastrous fire which swept through Grenfell Tower in West London. As Simon Cowell gathers singers and musicians together to record a charity single for the victims of the fire, The Who have agreed to be participants.”

The track was played on many radio stations across the U.K. beginning this morning and is available on iTunes, Spotify, YouTube and other streaming services. You can order the single and/or make a donation here.

Cowell tweeted: “Thank you to everyone for their help and support in making this happen.”

Other artists have responded to the tragedy in their own way. Singer Adele stopped by a London firehouse to personally thank firefighters for their role, while a number of stars of the theater world—comedian Jason Manford, Dreamgirls star Tyrone Huntley, Wicked actress Rachel Tucker, Dame Judi Dench, Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and Harry Potter And The Cursed Child’s Noma Dumezweni—will be among those performing in the Songs And Solidarity benefit concert, alongside playwright Bonnie Greer and the West End Gospel Choir.

Those who would like to make a donation to the Grenfell charity may also do so directly by going here.

Listen to “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Artists for Grenfell

If that clip won’t play in your country, try this one.

Watch a behind-the-scenes video including interviews with Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend

Best Classic Bands Staff

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