UB40 featuring Ali Campbell and Astro have today released an emotive cover of the late Bill Withers’ ‘Lean On Me’ to help raise money for the NHS. You can listen to the song below.
- Read More: Bill Withers, 1938 – 2020: the reluctant star whose songs were as understated as his genius
Speaking about the song, Campbell explained: “Astro and I have really felt it was the track that encapsulated everything that’s going on at the moment, we’re all needing to lean on our NHS heroes.
“We wanted to make our contribution to this great cause; covering this song was the perfect way to show our appreciation.”
Speaking about other versions of the song which have emerged in recent weeks, Campbell added: “I’m sure Bill Withers would have been happy to see his beautiful song put to such great use.” You can listen to the song below:
Astro added: “I can’t praise our wonderful NHS enough. My incredible mother was diagnosed with leukaemia back in 2003…what made me realise what a different breed our doctors and nurses truly are was, as busy as they were, they’d still somehow find the time to have a chat with my [mum], genuinely making her feel like she wasn’t there on her own and forgotten about.
“I know they didn’t have to, but they did, they’d go that extra mile. The same goes for care workers that helped her to convalesce, all that makes them so special! You can teach people to do almost anything, but you can’t teach people to care! Our NHS, they care.”
Back in 2018, the duo also teamed up with a host of musicians including Nile Rogers, Gabrielle, Guy Garvey and Seal to help celebrate the NHS on its 70th anniversary, recording a version of ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’.
“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved, devoted husband and father,” Withers’ family said in a statement. “A solitary man with a heart driven to connect to the world at large, with his poetry and music, he spoke honestly to people and connected them to each other.
“As private a life as he lived close to intimate family and friends, his music forever belongs to the world. In this difficult time, we pray his music offers comfort and entertainment as fans hold tight to loved ones.”
“During hardships like this, we have to lean on each other for help,” said Wonder before beginning the song. “My friend, the late Bill Withers, has the perfect song for that, and I want us to remember him tonight.”