Musical tribute channels Bowie, Prince and Cohen

Tribute song combines Purple Rain, Hallelujah and Life on Mars

Connor McKeon is joined by the Earthangel Gospel Choir to perform Prince's 'Purple Rain' as part of a tribute to some of the famous musicians who passed away in 2016. Video: Connor McKeon

 

Connor McKeon may be better known for playing at weddings than wakes but the Irish singer’s tribute song to David Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen has proven so popular that he will be performing it live on tonight’s Late Late Show on RTÉ.

The deaths last year of three of the biggest names in music inspired producer Billy Farrell and McKeon, whose usual backing group are three-time winners of the Wedding Band of the Year award, to arrange a tribute song combining Prince’s Purple Rain, Cohen’s Hallelujah and Bowie’s Life on Mars, sung by McKeon with Sandii Hyland and the Earthangel Gospel Choir.

Legends Tribute by Connor McKeon

“I grew up listening to the music of Prince, Cohen and Bowie,” said McKeon. “They inspired millions of people to learn guitar and other instruments and join bands. I remember when I was 16 going to buy Sign Of The Times and thinking, wow, this is something so original and so inspiring. There had never been anything like it. In later years I started listening to David Bowie and then Leonard Cohen and was captured by the raw power and incredible lyrics. These artists inspired other giants like Lady Gaga and Arctic Monkeys and countless others.

“These were true light workers, giants of music and I felt so strongly that I wanted to honour them in some way – my own kind of personal memorial project. Thankfully others shared my vision and lo and behold this idea just grew legs and we recorded the song in late December. The music will live on forever and I’ve no doubt that a whole new generation will now be inspired to carry the flame forward.”

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