Entertainment & Arts

Official Diamond Jubilee song unveiled

The song Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Webber have co-created for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations has had its first airing on BBC Radio 2.

Sing features musicians from across the Commonwealth, the Military Wives choir - and Prince Harry on tambourine.

The Prince made his contribution - his recording debut - in Jamaica, one of four Commonwealth countries that Barlow visited while compiling the song.

Sing had its first play on Chris Evans' Breakfast Show on Friday.

Prince Harry and Gary Barlow in Jamaica
Barlow (r) described Prince Harry as "a great guy" and "a really nice kid"

The video for the track, credited to Gary Barlow and The Commonwealth Band, will be fully unveiled on The One Show on BBC One on Friday evening.

Asked if Prince Harry had exhibited any musical talent, Barlow said simply: "No."

"He did the tambourine hit and we spun it into the track," the Take That star explained. "He probably hasn't got a clue what he's part of just yet."

The inspiration for the song, the 41-year-old said, had partly come from Prince Charles.

"I was just going to do it in London with the Philharmonic Orchestra," he told the Press Association. "But once I'd met with him I realised we've got to go into the world.

"In my chat with him he said 'If you really want the Queen to like this, find people; go and travel and find people'."

The singer's travels - which also took him to Australia, Kenya and the Solomon Islands - will be charted in BBC One documentary Gary Barlow: On Her Majesty's Service.

Gary Barlow with Gareth Malone (l) and the Military Wives choir
Choir master Gareth Malone (l) said the Military Wives felt "honoured" to be asked to participate

Musicians he met and recorded include ska guitarist Ernest Ranglin, reggae duo Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, Jamaican group The Jolly Boys and the African Children's Choir.

Sing, to be released by Decca Records on 28 May, will be performed live at the Diamond Jubilee Concert, in front of Buckingham Palace on 4 June.

It will also feature on a commemorative Jubilee album by Barlow, which includes appearances from Hayley Westenra, Laura Wright and Alfie Boe.

"It has been a great joy to collaborate with Gary on a song for this extraordinary occasion," said Lord Lloyd-Webber.

"I hope it will become a song that is sung in celebration for many years to come."

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