BRITISH pop group Take That, international superstar Lionel Richie, global pop icon Katy Perry, international opera star Andrea Bocelli, Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel, singer/songwriter Freya Ridings and classical-soul composer/producer Alexis Ffrench are some of the artists who will grace the stage at The Coronation Concert in the grounds of Windsor Castle on Sunday 7th of May.
They are part of an eclectic line-up of artists who will perform at the event celebrating the Coronation of Their Majesties The King and The Queen in front of 20,000 members of the public and invited guests, as well as millions watching and listening at home – on BBC One and BBC iPlayer as well as BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds – with further names due to be announced shortly.
The BBC told Politicalite tonight that the concert will celebrate a new chapter in the nation’s history, with themes of love, respect and optimism, celebrating the four nations, their communities and the Commonwealth.
Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen are Take That in 2023 and continue the legacy of one of the most successful bands in British chart history, with over 45 million records sold worldwide and 12 number 1 hits in the UK.
Take That have performed at many Royal Variety Performances over the years and supported The Prince’s Trust charity. In 2012, Gary Barlow curated the concert outside Buckingham Palace for Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.
Gary, Mark and Howard from Take That said, “This will be our first live show since the Odyssey Tour, four years ago in 2019, and what a stage to come back on! A huge live band and orchestra, a choir, military drummers, the backdrop of Windsor Castle and the celebration of a new King. We can’t wait.”
International superstar Lionel Richie was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2022. The Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe winner has sold over 125 million albums worldwide. The singer/songwriter was appointed as The Prince’s Trust’s first Global Ambassador and Chairman of the Global Ambassador Group in 2019 and is currently a judge on ABC’s American Idol.
Richie said, “To share the stage with the other performers at The Coronation Concert is a once-in-a-lifetime event and it will be an honor and a celebration.”
Global pop icon Katy Perry has racked up a cumulative 65 billion streams alongside worldwide sales of over 57 million adjusted albums and 138 million tracks since her 2008 Capitol Records debut. She is one of only five artists in history to have surpassed 100 million certified units with their digital singles.
She has performed in front of the largest audiences in the world – her 2015 Super Bowl performance is still the highest rated in the event’s history – and is currently performing her Las Vegas residency, PLAY.
Perry was appointed an ambassador of The British Asian Trust, a charity founded by The King when Prince of Wales, in 2020, due to her long-standing commitment to charities around the world, including as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and her own Firework Foundation, whose mission is to empower children from underserved communities by igniting their inner light through the arts.
Perry said, “I am excited to be performing at the Coronation Concert, and helping to shine a further light on the British Asian Trust’s Children’s Protection Fund, whose work includes on-ground initiatives to fundraising, with the aim to find solutions to child trafficking.”
Maestro Andrea Bocelli and Sir Bryn Terfel will perform a duet for the concert.
Global opera star Bocelli has sold over 90 million records worldwide, received six Grammy Award nominations and won 6 Classical BRITs including the Outstanding Contribution to Music Award in 2002. Through the Andrea Bocelli Foundation he sponsors an annual scholarship programme at The Royal College of Music supporting students to overcome barriers and access world-class training.
Andrea has topped the charts across the world, most recently achieving a number one album in the UK and US charts simultaneously.
Bocelli said: “I have had the great honour of singing for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on several occasions. It is now another great honour to be asked to perform at the Coronation Concert of King Charles III. My joy and excitement is multiplied as I have the chance to duet with my dear friend and superb baritone, Sir Bryn Terfel, performing an iconic song of love and collective solidarity.”
Sir Bryn Terfel has established an extraordinary career, performing regularly on the prestigious concert stages and opera houses of the world. He is a Grammy, Classical BRIT and Gramophone Award winner with a discography encompassing operas of Mozart, Wagner and Strauss, and has more than fifteen solo discs including Lieder, American musical theatre, Welsh songs and sacred repertory.
Terfel was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to Opera in 2003, was awarded the Queen’s Medal for Music in 2006 and received a knighthood for his services to music in 2017.
He said, “Having sung at numerous events that were connected to the patronages King Charles held as the Prince of Wales, it is an incredible honour to be singing now at the Coronation of His Majesty The King, Charles III. I am also delighted to be performing at the celebratory concert in Windsor, another opportunity for me to sing with my great friend and colleague, the wonderful Italian tenor, Maestro Andrea Bocelli.”
Freya Ridings is a singer / songwriter from North London who achieved international success in 2018/19 with her song ‘Lost without You’. Her debut album was streamed over a billion times globally.
Ridings will perform a duet with classical composer, producer and pianist Alexis Ffrench. With over half a billion streams and close to 3 million monthly listeners, his ‘classical soul’ sound taps into musical influences spanning Bach and Debussy to Hollywood, gospel and beyond. Ffrench is a passionate advocate for music education and he serves as a Governor and Trustee of the Royal Academy of Music, as well as being the Artistic Director of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music – the first in its 133 year history.
Ridings said: “I feel truly overwhelmed and in awe of the opportunity to sing at the Coronation of His Majesty Charles III – it feels like a “pinch me” once in a life time moment in history and I’m feeling very honoured to have been asked. Excited to be playing with a wonderful orchestra and alongside the incredible Alexis Ffrench on piano!”
Ffrench said, “To have been invited to perform in the Coronation Concert held in celebration of His Majesty King Charles III is an honour of the utmost magnitude. Such moments are unequivocally iconic and exceedingly rare, and I am delighted to share the stage with the wonderfully talented Freya Ridings on this momentous occasion.”
The artists will be backed by world-class musicians including a 70-piece orchestra and house band comprising the Massed Bands of the Household Division and the Countess of Wessex’s String Orchestra.
Charlotte Moore, BBC Chief Content Officer, said, “We are bringing the nation together for this once in a generation occasion, broadcast exclusively across the BBC live from Windsor Castle. We have a world class line up of performers to look forward to for what promises to be a very special night of celebration and entertainment.”
Alongside the stars of the concert, the show will also see an exclusive appearance from The Coronation Choir. This diverse group will be created from the nation’s keenest community choirs and amateur singers from across the United Kingdom, such as the Portishead RNLI sea shanty choir, farmers, cab drivers and reggae choirs. The Coronation Choir will appear alongside The Virtual Choir, made up of singers from across the Commonwealth, for a special performance on the night.
The centrepiece of the Coronation Concert, ‘Lighting up the Nation’, will see the country join together in celebration as iconic locations across the United Kingdom are lit up using projections, lasers, drone displays and illuminations.
The concert, produced by BBC Studios Productions, will be broadcast live from the grounds of Windsor Castle on BBC One, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds.
It will feature a broad mix of music spanning pop to classical, along with spoken word and dance performances reflecting arts and culture from around the UK and the wider Commonwealth.