Simon Cowell has joined forces with more than 50 top musicians to raise money for Grenfell Tower and bring a sense of hope and unity to London. The tragedy occurred earlier in June – reportedly due to a faulty fridge, worsened by combustible cladding – causing the loss of approximately 79 lives and the destruction of 151 homes within the tower block.
The charity single is an awe-inspiring cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water, with London-born Grime artist Stormzy opening the song with the heart-touching words “I just hope that you rest and you’re free up there”. Voices come together throughout the poignant track from the likes of British stars Rita Ora, Craig David, Emeli Sande, Jessie J, and Jorja Smith as well as features from previous X-Factor winners Leona Lewis, James Arthur and Louisa Johnson. A beautiful and refreshing touch to the track is brought about by Gareth Malone, who conducts a stunning choir of local residents including some survivors – further proving the resilience and courage of people in times of fear and turmoil.
A heart-wrenching video has since been released for the single, showing harrowing scenes of the blazing tower block and capturing the raw emotion that has overwhelmed the victims, survivors and the nation in the past few weeks. Bringing even more of a personal touch, the song was recorded at Sarn Studios in west London, only half a mile away from Grenfell Tower.
Cowell has also set up a fundraising page – ArtistsForGrenfell.com – where donations can be contributed to the charity fund being raised by the single. “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”.
The disaster has brought out the humanity and heart in many people across the country, with volunteer centres having to turn the public away due to overflow whilst donations of food and clothing are said to be “more than enough”. Whilst the entire country wishes this disaster never happened, it has brought people together more than we have seen in a very long time. Hopefully this sense of unity will continue to occur long after the blaze becomes a moment in history.
Watch the video for Bridge Over Troubled Water here:
The single is available to download now from iTunes for 99p.
Words by Sophie Barnden