Boy George to release charity single for Hampstead Marie Curie
He is one of the country’s most iconic pop stars, setting trends across the globe.
But Boy George is set to lend his voice to a more intimate track to raise money for the Marie Curie Hospice in Hampstead – and is calling on residents to join him.
The former Culture Club frontman, who lives in Hampstead, will record four big numbers from the1960s - including Dusty Springfield’s You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me - and hopes to recruit dozens of Hampstead and Highgate back-up singers.
Musician Matthew Jones, who is collaborating with the Karma Chameleon singer on the project, said the pair shared a passion for big, dramatic numbers.
Mr Jones said: “I first met George in the summer when we worked together at The Royal Albert Hall for a Dusty Springfield tribute I organised.
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“We had a massive choir of 200 and an orchestra. The sound was incredible and really lent itself to Boy George’s voice. So we thought, why not collaborate further?”
Mr Jones said he and Boy George had chosen Marie Curie because it is a charity “close to their hearts”.
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He said: “My mother passed away when she was only 47-years-old and I was very young. At the time she was cared for by Marie Curie nurses, in fact we all were because they gave the whole family counselling and support for two years. It was incredible.
“And of course it is a local charity for Boy George, so it is close to both of our hearts.”
Seasoned singers and amateurs alike are being urged to volunteer to sing on the record as Mr Jones insists that with training and advice, everyone can hold a note.
“This is for everyone, including those who don’t think they are strong singers or think they are tone deaf,” he said.
Profits will be split between the Marie Curie Hospice in Lyndhurst Gardens, Hampstead, and a hospice in Mr Jones’ home town of Birmingham.
The more singers that take part from Hampstead the better, as the profits will be split between the hospices in proportion to the number of people from each area that sing on the final EP.
Choirs and singing groups have given the project the thumbs up.
Pam Gilby, of the Hampstead based Fleet Singers, said: “I think this is a wonderful idea. I am sure many of our members would be interested in getting involved.
“Marie Curie is a very well supported charity in Hampstead and I’m sure everyone will get behind this.”
Emma Carlisle, fundraising manager at the Hampstead hospice, said: “We are very grateful for any funds raised in need of Marie Curie care.”
Rehearsals start over Christmas and the tracks will be recorded in February.
For information on volunteering contact Jenny Sloan at 0121 632 2330.