Five years after they beat him to the UK Christmas number one spot, the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS choir have bagged a collaboration with Justin Bieber this festive season. They will feature as choral vocalists on a remix of his single ‘Holy’.
Back in 2015, Justin’s ‘Love Yourself’ was set to hit the coveted Christmas number one spot, but after hearing that his main competition was the NHS choir’s song ‘A Bridge Over You’ (their version of Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’), he urged listeners to “do the right thing” and buy their single instead in order to raise money for the National Health Service.
After this show of selflessness, the choir managed to snatch the top spot with nearly 130,000 sales of their single, and Justin congratulated them publicly on Twitter before surprising them in person to present them with the Official Christmas Number One Chart Award.
Now, five years on, the pop superstar and the London choir have reignited their unlikely connection as he has invited them to appear on a reimagined version of ‘Holy’, which hit number 7 on the UK chart back in October.
Justin has said he is “humbled to team up” with the choir, which includes the voices of nurses, doctors and other NHS staff. In his statement, the Canadian singer said that he was excited for the single to “benefit NHS workers on the frontlines of this pandemic and pay tribute to their unbelievable dedication”.
This year, more than ever, the NHS needs our appreciation and support, so all the proceeds from the single’s sales will go to NHS Charities Together, an alliance of more than 230 NHS charities across the country, and the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust Charity.
Mike Corr, a former immunisation clinical coordinator who is now a member of the choir, has said that ‘Holy’ is the perfect song for this Christmas: “The message that holding someone is such a special thing that it’s almost a holy experience is so resonant with current difficulties and personal challenges. There are some special people I miss terribly and I hear them say, ‘Hold me, hold me,’ when all this is over.”
The choir recorded their choral part at Abbey Road Studios earlier in the year, and the remix of the single was released on Friday 18th December – just in time to be in the running for Christmas number one, but this time as a coalition rather than as rivals.
The single is available to purchase and stream now. Check out a snippet on the rendition below:
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) December 18, 2020