Keith Urban Joins All-Star ‘Imagine’ Performance During Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony
Keith Urban was part of an all-star lineup of musicians from across the planet who came together for a very special performance during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday (July 23).
Urban joined John Legend, Alejandro Sanz, Angélique Kidjo and the Suginami Junior Chorus for a special virtual joint rendition of the John Lennon classic "Imagine." Hans Zimmer provided the arrangement.
According to People, the video played against a white background as athletes representing each country involved in the Olympics gathered on the stage below. A total of 1,800 drones also formed the logo of the Tokyo Olympics before changing course to form the globe.
"Imagine" was the title song of Lennon's 1971 solo album, and it remains his most enduring solo song, with lyrics asking listeners to picture a world of peace and harmony.
"It's almost more of a hymn than a song," Urban observes of "Imagine" in a behind-the-scenes video he shared of himself recording his part. He adds that the most important lyrics are "just the ones between the beginning and the end."
"It's an amazing song," Urban gushes. "Some of the deceptively simple lines, I think. 'You may say I'm a dreamer ...' — that's an extraordinary, powerful line that speaks to me. The real definition of optimism and hope right there in that one line. Even if you don't speak English and you don't know what's being said ... you can feel it. You can feel that song."
Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, turned to social media on Friday to share her recollections of the song.
"IMAGINE. John and I were both artists and we were living together, so we inspired each other," she wrote. "The song "Imagine" embodied what we believed together at the time. John and I met – he comes from the West and I come from the East – and still we are together."