Eric Clapton, Tom Jones, Cat Stevens to Headline Cancer Benefit

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A multi-artist, star-studded concert benefiting the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity will take place at London’s O2 Arena on March 3. Participating performers announced thus far are Eric Clapton, Tom Jones, Gary Brooker of Procol Harum, Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall, John Illsley from Dire Straits, Paul Jones, Mike Rutherford, Paul Carrack, Bonnie Tyler, Paul Young, Zucchero, Rick Wakeman and Yusuf/Cat Stevens. More names are expected to be added to the bill.

Funds raised from the concert will go toward building the Royal Marsden a new cancer treatment and research facility, the Oak Cancer Centre.

In a statement, Clapton said, “This is a great cause and I’m honored to be part of the efforts to raise money for The Royal Marsden. I also couldn’t say no to the opportunity to work with the other artists and bandmates in the line-up.  I am sure it’ll be a fantastic evening providing much needed support for this pioneering hospital.”

Gary Brooker

Brooker, who put the concert together, will serve as its musical director. Said Clapton, “I’ve known Gary Brooker for many years so to have the chance to be back working together, along with other great artists and band mates, was one I couldn’t say no to. I am sure it’ll be a fantastic evening providing much needed support for this pioneering hospital.”

Tickets for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity show will go on sale this Friday, Dec. 6, at 10 a.m. U.K. time. Buy tickets here.

Eric Clapton

For Clapton, the headlining appearance appears to provide further evidence that the singer-guitarist-songwriter is reconsidering his decision to scale back his live performances. He recently announced that he will lead a tribute to his former bandmate in Cream, Ginger Baker, who died Oct. 6 at age 80. That concert, set for London’s Eventim Apollo Hammersmith on Feb. 17, will raise funds for the health and welfare charity Leonard Cheshire, which Baker was a supporter of. The show sold out immediately.

Clapton has also announced a 15-concert spring tour of Europe for 2020.

Tickets for Clapton’s upcoming tour are available here. In recent years, the classic rock legend, who turns 75 next March 30, has avoided a lengthy run of dates, preferring to do a handful at a time. Still missing from Slowhand’s schedule are such familiar venues on any Clapton itinerary as London’s Royal Albert Hall, Tokyo’s Budokan and New York’s Madison Square Garden. The legend recently held his fifth Crossroads Guitar Festival, with such guests as Jeff Beck, Peter Frampton, Joe Walsh, and Billy Gibbons. The two events, held in Dallas, Tex. on September 20-21, were the first of those festivals he had done in five years.

Watch Clapton and Brooker perform Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale” in 2011

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