Details of all the artists taking part in BBC Music's special performance of God Only Knows.
BBC Concert Orchestra - Led by Principal Conductor Keith Lockhart
Martin James Bartlett - BBC Young Musician of the Year 2014
Pharrell Williams - N*E*R*D front man, solo artist and producer
Emeli Sandé - 2012’s bestselling artist in the UK
Elton John - International award-winning performer
Lorde - Youngest singer to top the Billboard Hot 100 in a quarter-century
Chris Martin - Multi-award winning Coldplay singer and songwriter
Brian Wilson - The Beach Boys founding member and front man
Florence Welch - Florence and the Machine’s leading lady and BBC Introducing alumni
Kylie Minogue - Aussie pop star and actress
Stevie Wonder - Motown’s biggest selling artist
Eliza Carthy - Yorkshire born international folk star
Nicola Benedetti - Former BBC Young Musician of the Year and international selling violinist
Jools Holland - Later… host, Radio 2 presenter and Squeeze pianist
Brian May - Queen’s lead guitarist and rock legend
Jake Bugg - BBC Introducing graduate and solo star
Katie Derham - BBC Radio 3 and BBC Arts presenter
Tees Valley Youth Choir - Young North East collective
Alison Balsom - Trumpet soloist and former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist
One Direction - Global boy band phenomenon
Jaz Dhami - Birmingham born Bhangra sensation
Paloma Faith - British pop songstress
Chrissie Hynde - The Pretenders founding female
Jamie Cullum - Modern Jazz vocalist/pianist and host of Radio 2 jazz show
Baaba Maal - Senegalese Pulaar singer and guitarist
Danielle de Niese - Renowned Australian lyric soprano
Dave Grohl – Nirvana, Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age rock god
Sam Smith - BBC Sound of 2014 winner and transatlantic No.1 selling artist
Alison Balsom: "Playing when Ethan Johns produces was always going to be a massive treat. I think I recorded this little Beatles 'Penny Lane' type trumpet part quite early on in the proceedings, and hearing the snowball effect of more and more artists joining in was thrilling. Meeting one of my all-time musical idols, Brian May - whom I first saw live at Knebworth when I was about 8 - at the photoshoot sealed the deal for me and I'm sure the end result is going to be completely off-the-charts sensational. It was an honour to be involved - especially in gold feathers on a perch."
Martin James Bartlett: “This track is an unbelievable collaboration of some of the greatest musicians of the 21st century, performing arguably the greatest pop song ever written. Working on it has been one of the most exciting experiences of my life. God Only Knows is my all-time favourite pop song because the harmony is so rich and the lyrics are stunningly simple but so meaningful!”
Nicola Benedetti: “It was a real honour to be invited to take part in this special rendition of God Only Knows alongside so many iconic figures from across the music industry. God Only Knows is such a well known and loved song. My most fun memory of filming is of wearing an incredible dress made by the production team, but it wasn’t completely finished at the back and had to be pinned onto me! I hope the song will raise a lot of money for Children in Need.”
Eliza Carthy: “There are many reasons for me to celebrate being asked to join in this amazing endeavour, this recording of God Only Knows for Children in Need. It is always an honour and a joy to be asked to sing good music, good pop music being one of the most joyful and glorious things in life. It is a great moment for the specialist music scene that someone like me has been asked to get involved with a project like this one. British folk music is undergoing a huge revival at the moment and it’s reassuring that our national broadcasting corporation celebrates and supports this. It is bewilderingly wonderful to be singing alongside many musical heroes, to have taken part in a music film which is going to be a real work of art, and of course, as a mum, it is an honour to be able to contribute in some small way to the work being done by Children in Need to protect and nurture those more vulnerable. I had a blast!”
Andrew Connolly, General Manager, BBC Concert Orchestra: “The BBC Concert Orchestra loves being part of our BBC national moments, whether it’s the HM Queen’s Golden Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace, in front of 40,000 Prommers at Hyde Park each year or at the Royal Albert Hall commemorating the D-Day landings with Radio 2. Having a starring role in the God Only Knows film and CD proudly places the Concert Orchestra where it wants to be - at the heart of the BBC’s Music strategy.”
Jamie Cullum: "All musicians and songwriters have their Pet Sounds moment. It's a wake-up call that reminds you there are TRUE geniuses in this world. God Only Knows, this symphony of a song, expresses something so universal but within a labyrinthine structure of chords and melodies that are breathtaking when you take them apart but simple enough for a child to hum along to. As I said, genius."
Danielle de Niese: "I can't remember the first time I heard God Only Knows because as far back as I can remember breathing, this song has been a part of my consciousness, a part of the soundtrack to many wonderful moments in life: from seeing my parents dancing to it during my childhood, to hearing it in films like Love Actually as a young adult and to hearing it in my head even today when I look at the people I love. The harmonic complexity of the chord progressions, the use of classical instruments like French horns, strings… it's one of music history's perfect songs. It encapsulates two things I strongly believe in: the spirituality and transcendent nature of pure love, and the creative influence of classical music on modern music. It is a great honour to have performed in such illustrious company for BBC Music - a creative family with whom I have a very special relationship."
Katie Derham: "Being part of this BBC Music project has been a thrill from start to finish. To play even a single note alongside the likes of Stevie Wonder, Jools Holland and Alison Balsom is a phenomenal honour. And what a song too... it makes me cry every time I hear it. I blame you, Richard Curtis!"
Jaz Dhami: “It is an immense honour to be part of this special version of God Only Knows. I had to pinch myself when I was first approached - recording in Sarm Studios for a huge collaboration between the BBC and some of the world’s biggest artists has been a privilege to say the least. The great thing about this track is that it has taken artists from across the world, from totally different genres and brought them together seamlessly, its super exciting! It’s a real dream come true to be featured alongside some of the greats from the music world, to see my name alongside them is a big buzz in itself."
Andy King, Director of the Tees Valley Youth Choir: “To get the opportunity to be part of such an amazing experience was truly magical. It was fascinating to see the recording process at first hand and just how intricate everything is. At first, the thought of recording a song with the BBC was terrifying. There was so much pressure to get it right during recording and filming, and yet the feeling when we did get it right was unbelievable. We couldn’t believe it was happening!”
Lauren Laverne: “There is a kind of heart-swelling, emotional, stirring sound to this record and I think that’s what draws people in. That’s what BBC Music is all about – bringing together such an insane diversity of music talent.”
Gareth Malone: ''It's an honour to be part of this campaign. God Only Knows is a fantastically innovative song harmonically, melodically and lyrically. It's very exciting for me to be included in this.''
Brian May: “Working on God Only Knows made me appreciate its musical construction more fully. It was like getting a glimpse into the mind of its creators - the Beach Boys, and in particular, Brian Wilson. It's a unique piece, and the experience of being a part of this new production was a great pleasure.”
Kylie Minogue: “God Only Knows is such an iconic song and I'm so pleased I am part of this film with BBC Music. I wasn't born when the track was first released - but it's one of those classics that is eternal, if anything it only gets better with time.”
Sam Smith: “Being part of this campaign was so incredible. For me, God Only Knows is a song that has been and will forever be part of pop history and to be singing it alongside my idols was overwhelming. Plus, I got to meet Stevie Wonder which blew my mind.”