A single to raise money for those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire has raced to number one on iTunes two hours after it was released.
More than 50 stars including Stormzy, Craig David and Liam Payne and many performers with connections to west London, recorded Bridge Over Troubled Water at the legendary Warm Music Studio in Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill to support victims’ families and survivors.
- RELATED STORY: Grenfell Tower Fire Coverage
The cover of the Simon and Garfunkel classic was organised by Simon Cowell who lives near the tower in affluent Holland Park. He said on the donation website: “Following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in West London, the record industry came together to record a single for the victims of the disaster. Over 50 artists gave their time and support to make this happen.
The song is ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’. This website has been built to create a donation page which, together with the money raised by the record, will hopefully encourage people to donate whatever they can to help those who have been affected by this terrible event. All donations made here will be used by The London Community Foundation to help those in need.”
ARTISTS FOR GRENFELL: Jessie J, Simon Cowell, Omar, Louis Tomlinson and Pete Townshend at Sarm Music Studios in Ladbroke Grove
Residents and survivors of the fire-ravaged tower block also appear as part of a choir led by Gareth Malone.
“Seeing how emotional the local residents became while singing was really moving,” he told The Sun.
“Some of them actually lived in Grenfell Tower, Their homes have been destroyed. It’s very raw for a lot of them.”
The song was made available to download at 08:00 BST on Wednesday – a week after the fire – and donations can be made directly on artistsforgrenfell.com.
The song opens with a verse by Stormzy, who says: “I don’t know where to begin / So I’ll start by saying I refuse to forget you.
“I refuse to be silenced / I refuse to neglect you.”
The London-born MC goes on to say, “That could have been my mum’s house / Or that could have been my nephew”, concluding, “I just hope that you’re resting and free up there”.
Others performing include music legends Brian May, Nile Rodgers and Roger Daltrey, with lines also sung by Ella Eyre, Labrinth and Paloma Faith.
Payne’s One Direction bandmate Louis Tomlinson and grime artist Skepta have also loaned their vocals to the track.
Stereophonics singer Kelly Jones said the choice of Simon & Garfunkel’s 1970 song was “very apt”, adding: “All these things that are happening in London at the minute, and Manchester and everywhere, I think the main thing is people are pulling together.”
X Factor winner Louisa Johnson said she felt “honoured” to be involved with the “beautiful” single, which also features local choirs.