Thursday, 1 Jun 2023

Star-studded Coronation Concert to boast Take That and Katy Perry

Headline acts at the Coronation Concert include Take That, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, the BBC has announced. The line-up will also include Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli, Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel, singer-songwriter Freya Ridings and classical-soul composer Alexis Ffrench, with more acts to be revealed in the coming days.

A crowd of 20,000 will see the concert in the grounds of Windsor Castle on Sunday, May 7 and it will be broadcast to millions more across BBC television and radio stations.

The BBC said Take That’s performance will feature three of the original members, Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen, but there have been hints that the show will also see the two other original members, Robbie Williams and Jason Orange, take part in a one-off reunion.

On Thursday Take That’s official social media account published a video of all five singers performing together and said: “Never forget we will have fun like this again…someday soon.”

Williams, 49, has joined the remaining trio on occasion in the past few years, including for a virtual charity show during the pandemic. They are one of the most successful bands in British chart history, selling 45 million records worldwide and with 12 UK number one hits.

In a joint statement, Barlow, who curated the concert outside Buckingham Palace for the late Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012, Donald and Owen said: “This will be our first live show since the Odyssey Tour, four years ago in 2019, and what a stage to come back on.

“A huge live band and orchestra, a choir, military drummers, the backdrop of Windsor Castle and the celebration of a new King. We can’t wait.”

Richie, a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, is also a Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe and the first global ambassador of The Prince’s Trust, the youth charity set up by the King when he was Prince of Wales and left the Royal Navy in 1976.

He said: “To share the stage with the other performers at the Coronation Concert is a once-in-a-lifetime event and it will be an honour and a celebration.”

Perry, one of the world’s biggest pop stars, is also an ambassador for The British Asian Trust, another charity founded by the King.

She said: “I am excited to be performing at the Coronation Concert, and helping to shine a further light on the British Asian Trust’s Children’s Protection Fund, whose work includes on-ground initiatives to fundraising, with the aim to find solutions to child trafficking.”

During the concert, Bocelli and Sir Bryn will perform a duet of an “iconic song of love and collective solidarity”.

Bocelli said it was a “great honour” to sing for the late Queen on several occasions and that it was another special moment to be asked to perform for the King.

North London singer Ridings will perform a duet with classical composer, producer and pianist Ffrench.

The show will also feature a performance from the Coronation Choir, which will be created from community choirs and amateur singers from across the UK.

They will appear alongside the Virtual Choir which will be made up of singers from across the Commonwealth for a special performance on the night.

The centrepiece of the concert will be the Lighting Up The Nation, where locations across the UK will light up using projections, lasers, drone displays and illuminations.

Charlotte Moore, BBC chief content officer, said: “We are bringing the nation together for this once-in-a-generation occasion, broadcast exclusively across the BBC live from Windsor Castle.

“We have a world class line-up of performers to look forward to for what promises to be a very special night of celebration and entertainment.”

The concert, produced by BBC Studios Productions, will be broadcast live from the grounds of Windsor Castle on BBC One, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds.

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