G8: Will.i.am, Ed Sheeran and Mumford & Sons record new versions of songs to highlight global poverty
Tuesday 11 June 2013
Will.i.am, Ed Sheeran and Mumford & Sons are among the stars who have recorded new versions of celebrated protest songs to highlight issues of global poverty.
They are joining forces with dozens of musicians to launch agit8, which is campaigning to get world leaders to focus on poverty ahead of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland.
It has been backed by the One Campaign - co-founded by U2 frontman Bono - with videos of the protest songs being shown online to inspire a new generation to fight against injustice.
Other stars enlisted by the campaign include Sting, Elvis Costello, Green Day and chart-toppers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
Sheeran, who has recorded a new version of Bob Dylan's "Masters Of War" for agit8, said: "Music is a powerful tool in galvanising people around an issue. There's no better way to get your point across than to put it in a beautiful song."
Bono said: "This week we are reminded of the words of the great agitator Nelson Mandela - 'Like slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome. Millions of people... are trapped in the prison of poverty. It is time to set them free. Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation'.
"Since the 1970s, Nelson Mandela has called upon artists and bands to use their platform to fight injustice. We were honoured then, we're honoured now," Bono added.
His One organisation has also worked with filmmakers and actors including Richard Curtis and Chiwetel Ejiofor to create a half-hour film looking at how protest and music have led to change. It will be projected on to the side of London's Tate Modern tonight, tomorrow and Thursday at 10pm.
Videos of the protest songs can be seen at one.org/protestsongs and the songs will be available on streaming website Spotify.
The campaign wants the G8 nations, meeting at the summit next week, to throw their weight behind plans to provide more food for Africa, and make financial dealings more transparent for aid and investment in an effort to stamp out corruption and ensure no money is lost from poverty relief efforts.
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 3 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Avengers: Age of Ultron set to make box office history with $84.5m US opening
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
The highly NSFW poster for Gaspar Noé's Love makes Nymphomaniac look like 50 Shades
New on Netflix UK May 2015: From Fast & Furious 6 to World War Z and Grace and Frankie
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds