Rick Wakeman’s David Bowie tribute tracks will raise cash for Macmillan Cancer Support

Rick Wakeman

Rick Wakeman - Credit: Contributed

A musical tribute to David Bowie which went viral online after being played on national radio is being released as a fundraising single.

David Bowie in 1996.

David Bowie in 1996. - Credit: Archant © 2007

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.

Today his new versions of Life on Mars, Space Oddity and Always Together were released on Spotify and to pre-order on Amazon – with the royalties going to Macmillan Cancer Support.

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.

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“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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The releases coincide with Cancer Talk Week (January 25-29) where people with cancer are encouraged to connect with others to avoid facing their disease alone.

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.”

Visit www.macmillan.org.uk for more information.

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