An array of stars, led by Simon Cowell, have come together to record a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water to raise money for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.
Stormzy, Robbie Williams and Emeli Sande were among the artists who turned out at Sarm Studios in West London – the very same studio that Bob Geldof & co recorded Do They Know It’s Christmas in 1984 – on Sunday to take part in the recording, along with a choir of locals, some of whom had lost their homes.
Among those who lent their voices to the recording were Pixie Lott, Ella Eyre, Stereophonics frontman Kelly Jones, Westlife’s Shane Filan, X Factor winners Louisa Johnson and Leona Lewis, and Gareth Malone. Others, including Celine Dion, will be sending in their vocals from abroad.
Cowell organised the recording in a short space of time after a visit to the site, which is close to his West London home, left a “big impact” on him.
“For me in my position, not to do something would be appalling,” the X Factor judge told Good Morning Britain on Friday. “So I wrote to all the record label heads and I basically said let’s all work together, there’s a bigger cause here.”
“I think the thing that really hit home to me was when I was seeing that wall and I saw those messages and then when I saw how the residents immediately turned up with water and clothes and offers of shelter and everything else and that’s when I thought, I’m not just going to sit here and do nothing,” he said.
It’s not Cowell’s first charity single: in 2010 he pulled together a bunch of stars including Mariah Carey, Rod Stewart and Alexandra Burke to record a cover of REM’s Everybody Hurts to raise money for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.
Bridge Over Troubled Water is available to download now
Grenfell Tower charity single: full list of artists
Brian May – Queen
Carl Barât – The Libertines
Gareth Malone & The Choir for Grenfell
Jon McClure – Reverend and the Makers
Kelly Jones – Stereophonics
London Community Gospel Choir
The Who (Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend)