American idols in the royal spotlight
POP SUPERSTARS ARE SET FOR THEIR ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME PERFORMANCES FOR THE NEW KING
AI might be posting a lot, because I’m going to be in a castle for real. This is wild.
merican Idol must be appointment TV in the royal loungeroom. American pop superstars Katy Perry and Lionel Richie – both longtime Idol judges – are the headline acts for the Coronation Concert in the shadow of Windsor Castle on Monday morning, Australian time.
King Charles III and concert organisers at the BBC tapped the popular global stars for the big gig as Ed Sheeran, Adele and Elton John allegedly turned down the invite due to pre-existing commitments.
Perry isn’t as wild a choice as it may seem. Besides her penchant for partners hailing from the British Isles – former husband Russell Brand and current partner Orlando Bloom – the Roar singer has a direct link with the he King via one of his charities.
“I’m an ambassador to one of his foundations for the British Asian Trust, rust, which primarily focuses on ending child trafficking, which is a huge issue ue of our time ... and it just aligned with h all my values … He asked me to sing and nd it all aligned,” Perry said.
The Princess of Pop is excited to o perform on the stage, which looks remarkably similar to Sheeran’s groundbreaking Mathematics production. But it’s her lodgings ahead of the performance which have her frothing with joy.
“They said I’m allowed to stay at Windsor Castle, which I’m really excited for,” she said. “I might be posting a lot, because I’m going to be in a castle for real. This is wild.”
Her Idol buddy Richie, who recently stole the show when he sang at daughter Sofia’s wedding on the French Riviera, has long reigned as a King of Pop in the UK.
The 73-year-old Dancing On The Ceiling legend said he was surprised to get the call-up from Buckingham Palace despite having known King Charles for “a long time”.
“I mean, you don’t get in the business and say, ‘You know what? I’ll be at the King’s coronation.’ You know, that just never comes up,” Richie told People.
“(It’s) A, a surprise. B, what an honour.
And C, the fact of all the names out there that he could have had for this, he called my name.” Richie has also been invited to the official coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey.
“I want to see the pomp and circumstance because I don’t care what you thought Michael Jackson did. I don’t care what you thought Prince did. I don’t care what you thought Madonna did,” he said. “Nothing’s going to be like this. This is the grandiose of grandiose right here.” Royal fans will
also be entertained by the diminished ranks of ’90s boy band-now-trio Take That for their first live performance in four years, but Robbie Williams is unlikely to reunite with Gary Barlow and his old mates, even for the King.
The concert does offer something for everyone as it reflects Charles III’s wide-ranging music tastes.
His love of opera and classical music will be represented by the acclaimed Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel, renowned pianist Lang Lang and classical-soul composer Alexis Ffrench.
While she has shared a stage with Bocelli during his concerts, Pussycat Dolls supremo Nicole Scherzinger will be singing a song from the Mulan soundtrack with Lang Lang, who is big in the UK after his recent star turn on reality talent quest The Piano.
“I am incredibly honoured to be a part of such a historic event,” Scherzinger said.
“The UK has been my home away from home for many years now, so this means so much to me to be lending my voice through the gift of song. The piece I will be singing is such a powerful, moving song. And to be sharing the stage with Lang Lang will be a dream come true; a once-ina-lifetime performance.”
The organisers started drip-feeding other big names for the concert earlier this week, including rock star Steve Winwood, power-lunged pop queen Paloma Faith and X Factor survivor Olly Murs, while veteran DJ Pete Tong will be spinning Ibiza “classics”.
With the King and Queen also longtime supporters of up-andcoming artists, pop princess Freya Ridings was due to perform but she was forced to pull out on Saturday because of illness.
She was replaced by singer Zak Abel, while Nigeria-born singer Tiwa Savage is expected to bring Afrobeats to the Windsor stage.
The Toms – Cruise and Jones – lead a star-studded roll of guests who will “appear” at the concert via prerecorded videos sharing “littleknown facts” about the newly crowned King.
Cruise has a long relationship with the
The Mission Impossible star was a guest at Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997 and hosted the Prince and Princess of Wales at the Top Gun: Maverick premiere in London last year.
Other celebrity royalty appearing on the big screens include actor Dame Joan Collins and adventurer Bear Grylls. Downtown Abbey favourite Hugh Bonneville will host the proceedings.
Winnie the Pooh is stepping in for Paddington Bear for what many speculate will be a scenestealing cameo.
The Coronation Choir will bring the vocal noise, singing prerecorded versions of Steve Windwood’s 1980s hit Higher Love.