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11th Apr 2022

John Lennon’s son performs ‘Imagine’ for first time at Ukraine benefit

Danny Jones

John Lennon's song performs 'Imagine' for first time

A timely take on his dad’s perennial peace song

John Lennon‘s first born son Julian has performed a cover version of his father’s iconic hit “Imagine” for the first time in an effort to raise money for the humanitarian mission in Ukraine.

Singing alongside guitarist Nuno Bettencourt, the performance was part of the Global Citizen’s Stand Up For Ukraine benefit gig which raised more than $10bn in aid, grants and loans for Ukrainian refugees.

Writing a message of hope in the description of the video, Lennon said:

“The War on Ukraine is an unimaginable tragedy… As a human, and as an artist, I felt compelled to respond in the most significant way I could. So today, for the first time ever, I publicly performed my Dad’s song, IMAGINE.”

The 59-year-old explains that he had promised himself, “the only time I would ever consider singing [it] would be if it was the ‘End of the World’…”, adding that the lyrics transport people to a place of “peace… love and togetherness”, even if only for a “moment in time”.

He went on to add that “the song reflects the light at the end of the tunnel, that we are all hoping for” and that amidst the violence being perpetrated by the Russian invaders he is now “calling on world leaders and everyone who believes in the sentiment of IMAGINE, to stand up for refugees everywhere! Please advocate and donate from the heart. #StandUpForUkraine”.

Among the other artists who were present or appearing virtually on the bill were U2, Bruce Springsteen, Carole King and Kacey Musgraves who all did their bit to help raise funds for the nation and its displaced people.

It is thought that over 11 million Ukrainians have now been forced to flee their home and seek refuge in other countries. The $10.1bn- just shy of £8.5bn but more than €12m in euros – raised will go some way to helping combat the ongoing crisis.

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