In times like these, musicians are learning to give again — this time through a charity single for the BBC.
Artists including Dua Lipa, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Bastille, Ellie Goulding, and Hailee Steinfeld are among 23 musicians uniting to perform a cover of Foo Fighters hit “Times Like These” to raise money for charity.
The song’s accompanying video will world premiere during BBC One’s three-hour fundraising event “The Big Night In” on Thursday, and will also be broadcast across Radio 1, Radio 2, 1Xtra, 6Music and Asian Network, in addition to being made available on demand on BBC Sounds.
The BBC will also release the song as a single, with U.K. net profits combined with any funds raised by “The Big Night In” and split equally between BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief. Meanwhile, international net profits from the single will go towards the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
Produced as part of the Stay Home Live Lounge — a BBC Radio 1 acoustic segment — the single will be recorded and filmed by artists at home, and produced by Grammy-winning Adele and Stormzy producer Fraser T. Smith.
Smith said the vision for the single was to “create a stay-at-home version using phones, pots, pans and acoustic guitars that would honor the brilliance and honesty of the artists and song, rather than the trickery of an expensive recording studio.”
“We tried to make this single in a totally different way artistically, relevant to today,” said Smith. “The lyrics particularly resonate with us all at this challenging time, and I sincerely hope that money raised can help the plight of the unified battle against COVID-19 around the world.”
The full list of artists involved includes: 5 Seconds of Summer, AJ Tracey, Anne-Marie, Bastille, Biffy Clyro, Celeste, Chris Martin of Coldplay, Dermot Kennedy, Dua Lipa, Ellie Goulding, Grace Carter, Hailee Steinfeld, Jess Glynne, Mabel, Paloma Faith, Rag’n’Bone Man, Rita Ora, Royal Blood, Sam Fender, Sean Paul, Sigrid, YUNGBLUD and Zara Larsson.
The BBC’s “Big Night In” will take place just days after Global Citizen’s virtual concert “One World: Together at Home” raised $127.9 million for health care workers and coronavirus relief. A U.K. edition of the concert saw performances by Tom Jones, Little Mix and Jess Glynne.
Dua Lipa said: “I am so proud that we’ve been able to come together to record this track and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it. Thinking of everyone around the world at this difficult time. Love you all.”
Ellie Goulding added: “More so than ever, it’s important to remember the valuable role we each have to play in bringing hope, courage and strength to one another — I hope that this track brings comfort at such a difficult time.”