April 14, 2023

Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Take That to Headline King Charles’ Coronation Concert


Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Take That and Andrea Bocelli are among the first acts confirmed for King Charles’ Coronation concert.

The singers will hit the stage at the May 7 concert on Windsor Castle grounds in front of 20,000 members of the public and invited guests. Also joining are Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel, singer-songwriter Freya Ridings and classical-soul composer-producer Alexis Ffrench.

BBC Studios, which is producing the show, has said more names will be confirmed in due course. For months, all eyes have been on the king’s Coronation concert, which has reportedly struggled to pull in top acts with musicians citing busy touring schedules.

The BBC notes 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.”

The performers so far confirmed seem to have some form of connection to the U.K. or the monarchy’s various charitable organizations.

Perry and Richie both serve as judges on long-running singing competition “American Idol.” Richie, who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2022, was appointed as The Prince’s Trust’s first Global Ambassador and chairman of the Global Ambassador Group in 2019.

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.”

Meanwhile, Perry — who’s currently performing a Las Vegas residency — was appointed in 2020 as an ambassador of The British Asian Trust, a charity founded by the king when he was Prince of Wales, due to her work with global charities.

“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,” said Perry.

Take That comprises Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen. The group has performed at many royal variety performances over the years and has also supported The Prince’s Trust charity. In 2012, Barlow curated the concert outside Buckingham Palace for Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.

In a joint statement, the group 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.”

Elsewhere, global opera star Bocelli will perform a duet with Terfel at the concert. Through the Andrea Bocelli Foundation, the Italian singer sponsors an annual scholarship at London’s Royal College of Music.

Bocelli said: “I have had the great honor 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.”

The artists will be backed by a 70-piece orchestra and house band comprising the Massed Bands of the Household Division and the Countess of Wessex’s String Orchestra. The event will also see an appearance from the Coronation Choir — a group created from top U.K. community choirs and amateur singers. A segment called “Lighting up the Nation” — billed as the concert’s centrepiece — will light up locations across the country with projections, lasers, drone displays and illuminations.

Charlotte Moore, chief content officer at the BBC, 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.”


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