Stars Imagine an end to homelessness

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The Independent Online
"IMAGINE THERE'S no Heaven, it's easy if you try..."

It's certainly not too hard for the thousands without a roof over their heads, forced to spend their nights in shop doorways around Britain.

But thanks to John Lennon's re-released "Imagine", things are about to get a just a little better.

Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, has produced a specially minted set of nine CDs with hand-drawn covers from stars including George Michael, Robbie Williams, Tina Turner and the Pet Shop Boys.

The discs, expected to become instant collectors' items, will be auctioned on the Internet and the proceeds given to Shelter, the charity for the homeless.

"Imagine" has been a smash hit in Britain since its re-release on the Parlophone label earlier this month, and even challenged for the Christmas No 1 slot. It was voted the nation's favourite song in a BBC poll.

The auction has been masterminded by Yoko Ono, who has decorated one of the CD sleeves with a cloud portrait and Japanese script.

Brian May, from Queen, has drawn a self-portrait, George Michael's cover features a millennium message in a speech bubble, while Robbie Williams has contributed a collage.

The Pet Shop Boys have a crack at Cliff Richard, whose "Millennium Prayer" is also riding high in the charts, signing their sleeve with "Cliff is over if you want it".

The other stars to lend a hand are rock diva Tina Turner, Neil Hannon from the Divine Comedy, Boyzone's Ronan Keating and Graham Coxon, guitarist with Blur.

"This is a great opportunity for Shelter to raise awareness about homelessness and, thanks to Yoko Ono, will raise vital funds so that we can continue our work," said Chris Holmes, the director of Shelter.

"Our aim is to find long-term solutions to homelessness in the UK. People sleeping on the streets are only the most visible part of the problem. It is only the tip of the iceberg."

The discs can be previewed on the web at and will be auctioned up until 4 January. They can be bought either individually or as a set.