Europe

Elton John backs Irish charity single for Lily-Mae

  • 14 December 2012
  • From the section Europe

The singer, Elton John, has sent a personal get well soon message to a four-year-old Irish girl who has cancer, after one of his songs was used to help her cause.

Lily-Mae Morrison, from County Galway, has been diagnosed with high risk neuroblastoma.

A charity cover version of Elton John's song, Tiny Dancer, was released to raise money for cancer charities.

The single has already spent two weeks at Number 1 in the Irish Single Charts.

Some of Ireland's biggest recording stars, including Paddy Casey, Declan O'Rourke and Camille O'Sullivan, have all recorded vocals for the single.

In total over 300 musicians sing or perform on the track.

Elton John has backed the project by encouraging his fans to buy the single.

Image caption Lily-Mae's parents are both professional ballet dancers

The video for the song can be seen here.

Lily-Mae's family were even more surprised when the discovered that Elton John had recorded a personal message for Lily-Mae while he was on tour in New York.

Her parents, Leighton Morrison and Judith Sibley, said they were "stunned" to discover the artist had taken the time to back their campaign and record the video.

The charity cover of Tiny Dancer had previously outsold entries from Labrinth, Emeli Sande, Rihanna, Olly Murs and One Direction in the Irish charts.

The single is the fastest selling single in the Irish Republic this year and the fastest selling non-X Factor single of the last six years.

It has also gone to Number 1 in the iTunes vocal chart in the UK, Australia and Luxembourg as well as charting in a number of other territories.

Any money raised from the single will be split between the Sunni Mae Trust and the Neuroblastoma Society.

'Our tiny dancer'

Lily-Mae's parents are both professional ballet dancers and they were delighted at the choice of song.

"Tiny Dancer is one of my partner Judy's favourite songs so we were thrilled to hear that it was going to be released for us," Lily-Mae's dad Leighton Morrison said.

"We are both ballet dancers and Lily-Mae loves dancing, when she grows up she wants to be a ballet dancer as well. She is our tiny dancer."

The couple also hope that more people will become aware of neuroblastoma through Lily-Mae's story.

Image caption Lily-Mae has been diagnosed with high risk neuroblastoma.

"I had no idea what neuroblastoma was when we heard Lily-Mae had been diagnosed. Hopefully her story will educate more people about the illness," Leighton said.

The producer of the single, Stephen Macken, said he had to do something when he heard Lily-Mae was ill.

"Judith and Leighton are family friends and our daughters do ballet together. When I heard Lily-Mae had neuroblastoma it left me cold and devastated," said Stephen.

"I didn't even know what it was and as a parent of two young girls I was angry at myself for not knowing. I want to fill the gaps in people's knowledge and educate them."

The team behind the single now hope it can remain at the top of the Irish charts and become Christmas number one.

"Lily-Mae likes the colour purple and dinosaurs, and particularly likes purple dinosaurs. She also likes fairies and, more often than not, imagines herself as one," said Stephen.

"She would like to 'magic' the pain away but there's no magic in the real world and as a trainee fairy, she finds this a little bit confusing.

"If we can do this, keep the X Factor winner from the Christmas number one spot, then hopefully everyone will hear the story of the little, purple dinosaur-loving, fairy ballerina with a deadly cancer who left Simon Cowell's plastic popstar out in the cold this winter."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites