Sir Cliff Richard shares a round of applause for NHS staff in the video for UB40 featuring Ali Campbell and Astro’s charity cover of Lean On Me.
The reggae group recorded the Bill Withers classic to pay tribute to the soul singer, who died earlier this year, and raise vital funds for NHS Charities Together.
Jools Holland, Big Narstie, Shaun Ryder and Bez from Happy Mondays, Madness frontman Suggs, Phil Daniels, Scarlett Moffatt, and the cast of BBC’s People Just Do Nothing also feature.
The video went live at 8.15pm on Thursday, after the UK’s weekly round of applause for healthcare workers on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic.
Campbell and Astro said they were “overwhelmed” by the public support for the track, after it entered the iTunes top 10.
They said: “We are overwhelmed by the support and love for this track, it’s so wonderful that so many NHS staff, carers, friends and famous faces have taken the time to be part of the video, and this will help to raise even more money for our wonderful NHS and just show how thankful and indebted to them we all are.”
Astro praised NHS staff for going “the extra mile” when they were treating his mother for leukaemia.
He said: “I can’t praise our wonderful NHS enough. My incredible mother was diagnosed with leukaemia back in 2003 which was a blow to the whole family, but I’m happy to say she was successfully treated at the Heartlands and Queen Elizabeth hospitals in Birmingham.
“She sadly passed on 18th Dec 2013 aged 82.
“In my heart I know they gave her the best treatment possible, and I thank them for that.
“What made me realise what a different breed our doctors and nurses truly are was, as busy as they were, they’d still somehow find the time to have a chat with my mom, genuinely making her feel like she wasn’t there on her own and forgotten about.
“I know they didn’t have to, but they did, they’d go that extra mile.
“The same goes for care workers that helped her to convalesce, all that makes them so special.
“You can teach people to do almost anything, but you can’t teach people to care. Our NHS, they care.”
The estate of Bill Withers is also supporting the release by donating its writing share in Europe for this period to NHS Charities Together.
Watch the video at https://ub40ftaa.lnk.to/LeanOnMeNHSVideo.