Keith Urban joined artists from around the world, intended to represent the Americans, Oceania, Africa, and Europe, respectively, in a surprise pre-recorded virtual performance during the opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics on Friday, July 23.
Urban joined Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz, R&B star John Legend, afropop singer Angélique Kidjo and the Suginami Junior Chorus to perform the John Lennon and Yoko Ono 1971 utopian hit, Imagine in an arrangement by Hans Zimmer.
In a behind-the-scenes clip speaking of the song, Urban said, ” It’s a spiritual classic. It’s almost more of a hymn than a song. What lyrics stand out to me in the song? Just the ones between the beginning and the end. It’s an amazing song.”
He added, “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 in ‘Imagine,’ you can feel it.”
Urban also shared his excitement for being involved in the games in a caption alongside the video. “Soooooo excited to be a part of the #Tokyo2020 @olympics Opening Ceremony!!!! #StrongerTogether #Olympics”
The opening ceremony also featured a fireworks display, tributes to those lost in the pandemic, a parade of the games’ athletes and more.
The Olympic Games are now underway in Tokyo.
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Image: via Facebook