Julian Lennon pays tribute to "Lucy"

Thu Dec 3, 2009 3:26am EST
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By Monica Herrera

NEW YORK (Billboard) - After a decade-plus hiatus, Julian Lennon is making music again, and on his own terms.

The singer-songwriter is prepping an album for spring 2010, and on December 15, his company theRevolution will release a four-track EP featuring the charity single "Lucy." The song pays tribute to Lennon's childhood friend Lucy Vodden, who inspired the Beatles classic "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."

Vodden, who died in September of complications from lupus, was famously depicted by Julian Lennon in a watercolor painting that prompted his father, John Lennon, to write the surrealist "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" tune. Julian told Billboard.com that his charity single came together quickly after Vodden's death, when he was laying down background vocals for a song by one of theRevolution's new artists, James Scott Cook.

"I learned of Lucy's passing during the actual process," Lennon said. "I'd reacquainted myself with her through friends and businesspeople about two years ago, so I knew of her plight and was actually helping her to hopefully have a little more comfort in life."

Coincidentally, the song Lennon was helping Cook record was called "Lucy." Within a day the artists had reworked the song's lyrics and arrangement to make it a duet that celebrated Vodden's life, as well as Cook's 92-year-old grandmother. "She's also suffered from lupus all her life, and her name is Lucy," says Lennon. "The song was done in an evening. We thought, 'If we're going to do this, let's do it now in memory of Lucy, while we're all here and we have the energy.'"

Proceeds from purchases of the single will go to the St. Thomas' Lupus Trust in Great Britain and the Lupus Foundation of America, two nonprofit organizations working to fight the autoimmune disease. The EP also will feature an acoustic version of "Lucy," the song "Sober" from Cook's upcoming album and the track "Beautiful" from Lennon's new album, "Everything Changes."

"It's actually the slowest and most emotional track on the album," Lennon said. "It was written about people I know and my friends know that have passed on in life."

'CAN'T HELP IT'   Continued...

<p>Musician Julian Lennon arrives for a gala screening of Irish director Catherine Owens and U.S. director Mark Pellington's film "U2 3D" at the 60th Cannes Film Festival, May 19, 2007. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard</p>