Julian Lennon, the son of the late Beatle John Lennon and inspiration for “Hey Jude,” has recently performed “Imagine” for the first time. Julian publically embraced the song as a show of support for Ukraine amid the Russian invasion.
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“The War on Ukraine is an unimaginable tragedy,” Julian explained. “As a human, and as an artist, I felt compelled to respond in the most significant way I could.
“So today, for the first time ever, I publicly performed my Dad’s song, IMAGINE,” he stated.
For the “Imagine” rendition, Julian sang the song while illuminated only by the glow of several candles and backed by guitarist Nuno Bettencourt. Each verse is delivered with immense intentionality and emotion, especially when Julian arrives at the verse Imagine all the people / Livin’ life in peace.
“Why now, after all these years?” Julian continued to explain. “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 [John Lennon’s] 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…”
Julian also pleads with his listeners to support the message of “Imagine,” too. “I’m calling on world leaders and everyone who believes in the sentiment of IMAGINE, to stand up for refugees everywhere!” he said. “Please advocate and donate from the heart. #StandUpForUkraine.”
Julian is one of the numerous artists supporting the Stand Up For Ukraine effort. Just recently, the movement raised 10.1 billion dollars in grants to support those impacted by the war in Ukraine. This fundraising occurred via a livestream pledging summit with performances by U2, Kacey Musgraves, Bruce Springsteen, Carole King, and others.
Watch Julian Lennon’s first-ever performance of “Imagine” below.