Rick Wakeman releases David Bowie tribute singles to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support
- Credit: Contributed
A musical tribute to David Bowie by Norfolk musician Rick Wakeman will be released to raise money for a cancer charity.
On January 11 Rick Wakeman, pianist on the original 1971 release of Bowie's track Life on Mars, performed the song on BBC Radio 2 after the star's death.
The emotional performance was viewed more than two million times on the station's website and requests from fans has prompted Wakeman, who lives in the Diss area, to re-record it and other iconic Bowie tracks.
His new versions of Life on Mars, Space Oddity and Always Together have been released on Spotify and are available to pre-order on Amazon – with the royalties going to Macmillan Cancer Support.
Mr Wakeman said: 'I feel extremely fortunate to be able to release my piano version of David Bowie's Life On Mars and Space Oddity, both of which I performed on the original releases.
'I think it's very apt for the proceeds to go to Macmillan, a charity that is so crucial to so many people. I witnessed this first hand when I lost my mother to cancer and the work they do comes from the heart and is truly priceless.
'Hopefully the songs will not only be a fitting tribute to David, but will also raise some money to help Macmillan with the wonderful work they do, ensuring no-one faces cancer alone.'
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Jane Maher, chief medical officer at Macmillan Cancer Support, says: 'We want people to feel comfortable talking openly about what they're going through with friends, family and experts or, through our online community, other people whose lives have been affected by cancer.
'We know that music is something that not only brings people together, but also helps them through difficult times and so we are deeply grateful that Rick has decided to donate the proceeds from these tracks to Macmillan.
'The money raised will help us to continue to offer a range of support for anyone affected by cancer.'
In last week's Mercury Mr Wakeman paid an emotional tribute to Bowie.
He praised the singer's and said 'I can truly say he had more influence on me than anybody else I've worked with. He was top of the tree and always will be.'
'I think in many years to come, he will be looked back on as more influential than perhaps The Beatles, Elvis and all those kinds of people. Because he influenced lots of different styles of music and musicians and also gave fashion and art to people.