Dozens of stars have bunched together to record a charity single for victims of the tragic Grenfell Tower fire, which has killed 79 people and counting.
With Simon Cowell at the helm, Artists for Grenfell’s cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ is available to buy now. The X Factor mogul is also encouraging people to donate via the Artists for Grenfell website. “All donations made here will be used by The London Community Foundation to help those in need,” he said.
Over 50 acts are involved, so here’s a second-by-second rundown of who sings on the single. Queen’s Brian May, The Libertines’ Carl Barat, Dua Lipa and Nile Rodgers are also involved, contributing instrumentation and additional vocals.
The grime sensation steals the show with a flooring opening verse. “I’ll start by saying I refuse to forget you,” he says. “I refuse to be silenced. I refuse to neglect you.” Stormzy gets the longest airtime on this single, and he perfectly captures emotions surrounding this disaster – the deadliest fire to hit mainland Britain in over 100 years. “That could’ve been my mum’s house, Or that could’ve been my nephew.” He says what we’re all thinking.
[0.32 and 2.59]
The ‘Heavy Entertainment Show’ star appears twice, first singing the second verse’s opening line, and towards the end for the final chorus.
Like with the Bob Geldof-helmed ‘Live Aid’ singles, this cover squeezes as many acts as possible into three-and-a-half minutes. Most artists are given just one line. Blunt picks up Williams’ baton to sing: “And feeling small…”
[0.45 and 3.25]
As well as contributing to the second verse, Rita Ora sings the song’s closing line, “I will lay me down.”
Ahead of his slot on Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage, the legendary Craig David appears briefly in the second verse.
The Bastille frontman is also planning a stripped-back charity show at London’s Bush Hall on Tuesday June 27.
One of two ex-One Direction stars brought in by Cowell, Payne declares: “I’m on your side.”
No major music event is complete without an obligatory appearance from Emeli Sandé.
The Streophonics frontman’s signature smoky vocals deliver the poignant line: “And friends just can’t be found.”
The chart-bothering songwriter gets the cover’s standout “Like a bridge over troubled water” line, smack-bang in the middle of the chorus.
No sign of Harry Styles, Niall Horan or Zayn Malik, but Louis Tomlinson appears midway through the track.
The second “Like a bridge over troubled water” line sees Labrinth delivering pointed, emotional vocals.
The Drake-certified 20-year-old makes a standout appearance.
The WSTRN member gives a speedy, positivity-first refrain, rapping: “So much pain in my heart / My community’s moving me / Choose to gleam as we’re facing the dark.”
One of several former X Factor stars to make an appearance, Leona kicks off verse three.
The ex-Voice judge makes a brief cameo, singing: “When you’re on the street…”
[2.18 and 3.09]
Redeeming his career with last year’s ‘Back From the Edge’ album, the Middlesbrough-born singer gets one line. He also contributes to a closing chorus.
This is the cover’s biggest curveball. Wedged in-between contemporary pop stars, The Who frontman makes an unlikely appearance.
Post-Daltrey, things get a little less star-studded, in all honesty.
Anne-Marie & Ella Henderson
All that’s missing is Clean Bandit, by this point.