John Lennon’s son Julian performs ‘Imagine’ for the first time for Ukrainian tribute
Julian Lennon, the son of the late Beatle John Lennon and the inspiration for “Hey Jude,” recently performed “Imagine” for the first time. Julian publicly embraced the song as a show of support for Ukraine amid the Russian invasion.
“The war against Ukraine is an unimaginable tragedy,” Julian explained. “As a human being and as an artist, I felt compelled to respond in the most meaningful way possible.
“So today, for the very first time, I publicly performed my dad’s song, IMAGINE,” he said.
For the “Imagine” rendition, Julian sang the song while lit only by the glow of several candles and backed by guitarist Nuno Bettencourt. Each verse is delivered with immense intentionality and emotion, especially when Julian gets to the verse Imagine all the people / Living life in peace.
“Why now, after all these years? Julian continued to explain. “I had always said that the only time I would consider singing ‘IMAGINE’ would be if it was ‘End of the World’… But also because his [John Lennon’s] the lyrics reflect our collective desire for world peace. Because in this song we are transported to a space where love and unity become our reality, if only for a moment… The song reflects the light at the end of the tunnel, which we all hope for…”
Julian also pleads with his listeners to support the message of “Imagine” as well. “I call on world leaders and all who believe in the IMAGINE sentiment to stand up for refugees everywhere!” he said. “Please advocate and donate from the bottom of your heart. #StandUpForUkraine.
Julian is one of many artists supporting the Stand Up For Ukraine effort. Most recently, the movement raised $10.1 billion in grants to support those affected by war in Ukraine. This fundraiser took place via a live engagement summit with performances from U2, Kacey Musgraves, Bruce Springsteen, Carole King and others.
Watch Julian Lennon’s first-ever performance of “Imagine” below.