BBC Radio 1 launches coronavirus charity song with Dua Lipa, Chris Martin and more

Cover of Foo Fighters’ Times Like These also features Rita Ora, Biffy Clyro and other big names

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BBC Radio 1 has announced a charity single to benefit coronavirus relief, performed by 23 major pop stars.

The cover of Foo Fighters’ Times Like These, using “phones, pots, pans and acoustic guitars”, according to producer Fraser T Smith, features artists spanning pop, rock, rap, soul, dancehall and R&B, including Dua Lipa, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Rita Ora and Ellie Goulding.

It will be released as a single, with profits from UK streams and downloads going to Children in Need and Comic Relief to help British people affected by the coronavirus crisis. Profits from international listeners will go to the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

Smith, known for his production work with Adele, Stormzy and Dave, said it was humbling to work on the song, adding:

Our vision was to create a stay at home version using phones, pots, pans and acoustic guitars that would honour 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. The lyrics particularly resonate with us all at this challenging time.

Lipa said she was “so proud that we’ve been able to come together to record this track”, while Goulding spoke of “the valuable role we each have to play in bringing hope, courage and strength to one another”.

Chris Price, Radio 1’s head of music, said the cover version “sends a simple message to the world: that the power of music and human creativity can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles to build a sense of community, togetherness and determination, even when we are forced apart”.

The charity single has been announced just after One World: Together at Home, a global musical charity project helmed by Lady Gaga that also benefited the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund, as well as other projects. With eight hours of performances from artists including the Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder and Gaga herself, the livestreamed initiative raised $127m for coronavirus relief.

Times Like These is released at midday on Thursday 23 April, with a video debuting that evening as part of the BBC’s Big Night In charity show, which will also benefit Comic Relief and Children in Need.

Artists featuring on Times Like These

5 Seconds of Summer
AJ Tracey
Biffy Clyro
Chris Martin of Coldplay
Dermot Kennedy
Dua Lipa
Ellie Goulding
Grace Carter
Hailee Steinfeld
Jess Glynne
Paloma Faith
Rag’n’Bone Man
Rita Ora
Royal Blood
Sam Fender
Sean Paul
Zara Larsson


Ben Beaumont-Thomas

The GuardianTramp

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