Keith Urban was among the celebrity guests who contributed to a rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine” during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday, People reports.
Joining him in the pre-recorded clip were pop singer John Legend, Spanish performer and composer Alejandro Sanz, Beninese singer-songwriter and activist Angélique Kidjo, and the Suginami Children’s Choir.
The group performance took place as athletes from each country gathered on the stage during the opening ceremony, underscoring “Imagine’s” message of unity before beginning this year’s Olympics games.
“It’s one of those songs that feels like it’s just always been there,” Keith explains in a behind-the-scenes clip about recording of the group performance. “It’s sort of like a spiritual classic.”
Coming off of the 1971 album of the same name, “Imagine” was the best-selling single of Lennon’s solo career. The singer-songwriter and former Beatles member has said that the influence for the song came from his wife Yoko Ono’s 1964 book, Grapefruit, and that she should receive co-writing credit for the song.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games were rescheduled to summer 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ceremonies begin on July 23 and last through August 8.
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.