Watch Julian Lennon perform his father’s peace anthem “Imagine” as part of Stand Up for Ukraine campaign

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Julian Lennon, the older son of John Lennon, has shared his first-ever public performance of his late father’s classic song “Imagine” as part of the Global Citizen organization’s recently launched Stand Up for Ukraine campaign.

On Friday, Julian posted a video on his official YouTube channel of him singing the 1971 peace anthem, with Extreme‘s Nuno Bettencourt joining him on acoustic guitar and backing vocals.

In a message accompanying the video, Julian writes, “The War on Ukraine is an unimaginable tragedy…As a human, and as an artist, I felt compelled to respond in the most significant way I could. So…for the first time ever, I publicly performed my Dad’s song, IMAGINE.”

He continues, “Why now, after all these years? — I had always said, that the only time I would ever consider singing ‘IMAGINE’ would be if it was the ‘End of the World’…But also because his lyrics reflect our collective desire for peace worldwide. Because within this song, we’re transported to a space, where love and togetherness become our reality, if but for a moment in time…The song reflects the light at the end of the tunnel, that we are all hoping for…”

Julian concludes, “As a result of the ongoing murderous violence, millions of innocent families, have been forced to leave the comfort of their homes, to seek asylum elsewhere. I’m calling on world leaders and everyone who believes in the sentiment of IMAGINE, to stand up for refugees everywhere! Please advocate and donate from the heart. #StandUpForUkraine”

As previously reported, Global Citizen’s Stand Up for Ukraine saw a wide variety of music stars taking to social media on Friday and directing their attention to Ukraine in the wake of Russia’s ongoing military invasion of the country.

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