Julian Lennon, son of The Beatles icon John Lennon, publicly performed his father’s song for the first time ever.
Julian sang the song Imagine, which has become an anthem for troubled times, alongside guitarist Nuno Bettencourt. The video of the simple cover featured Julian and Nuno side by side in a dark room, surrounded by nothing but lit candles.
The performance was part of Global Citizen’s “Stand Up for Ukraine” benefit on social media to help aid with current Ukrainian war relief.
Julian said he felt compelled to sing Imagine for Ukrainian relief
When it came to the tragedy of the Ukrainian War, Julian felt that singing his father’s anthem was the most significant way to express his feelings as an artist. “The War on Ukraine is an unimaginable tragedy… As a human, and as an artist, I felt compelled to respond in the most significant way I could,” Julian wrote in the video of his performance’s description box.
“So today, for the first time ever, I publicly performed my Dad’s song, IMAGINE.”
Watch the touching rendition below:
Julian discussed the reason behind finally singing the song for the first time.
“Why now, after all these years? – I had always said, that the only time I would ever consider singing ‘IMAGINE’ would be if it was the ‘End of the World’… But also because his lyrics reflect our collective desire for peace worldwide,” he said. “Because within this song, we’re transported to a space, where love and togetherness become our reality, if but for a moment in time… The song reflects the light at the end of the tunnel, that we are all hoping for… As a result of the ongoing murderous violence, millions of innocent families, have been forced to leave the comfort of their homes, to seek asylum elsewhere.”
He ended by demanding change from the fortunate to help those currently in need. “I’m calling on world leaders and everyone who believes in the sentiment of IMAGINE, to stand up for refugees everywhere! Please advocate and donate from the heart,” he wrote.
Fans commented on Julian’s touching tribute to his father
Many people have taken to Julian’s YouTube comment section to share their thoughts on his rendition of his father’s song.
“You honor your father Julian. I am now 71 and can understand why you didn’t sing this beautiful song, I am thankful that you knew so many of us needed to hear this again, in this time of great sadness a candle still burns for dreams. Thankyou so much. I needed to cry,” one user wrote.
Another user said they heard Julian’s father in his own voice. “Wow, I hear so much of John… What a beautiful tribute not only to the people of Ukraine, but also to him. He’s no doubt so proud of you Julian,” user @LitAFuseiCantStop commented.
Some mentioned the fact that Julian has always been compared to his famous father in the music industry. “This is wonderful. I can’t blame you for not usually singing your father’s songs and spending your entire life being compared to him, but I think you’re the only singer who could sing this one now and make it so emotional. Respect for making the exception for Ukraine.”
Along with many positive YouTube comments, people took to other social media platforms to repost Julian’s video and share their heartwarming thoughts.
Twitter user Kristian Andersson wrote, “THIS.IS.FANTASTIC. Thanks @JulianLennon for doing this and shine a light in a tragically dark world. Great performance!”
The Global Citizen’s social media rally, which happened on April 8th, raised $10.1 billion in grants and loans and resulted in over 20,000 actions taken.