It took a global humanitarian crisis to provoke Julian Lennon to reverse one of his staunchest artistic decisions: to never perform his father John's peace anthem "Imagine."
The eldest son of the late Beatle did just that on Friday, April 8 - Julian's 59th birthday - offering an cover of the track (with Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt) as part of Global Citizen's Stand Up for Ukraine, a social media rally dedicated to raising money for the embattled country as its people cope with the acts of war carried out by Russia.
I had always said, that the only time I would ever consider singing 'Imagine' would be if it was the ‘End of the World,’" Lennon wrote in the caption. "But also because his lyrics reflect our collective desire for peace worldwide. 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."
Released in 1971, the elder Lennon's "Imagine" - one of his first proper singles after The Beatles broke up - was a Top 5 hit in America, later topping the U.K. charts in the wake of his murder in 1980.