Pop royalty to sing for British queen's jubilee

Tue Feb 7, 2012 9:33am EST
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By Estelle Shirbon

LONDON (Reuters) - Music stars from every decade of Queen Elizabeth's 60-year reign, ranging from Shirley Bassey to Jessie J, will perform at a concert outside Buckingham Palace in June to celebrate the British monarch's diamond jubilee.

They have a hard act to follow after Brian May, the guitarist from superstar band Queen, performed an electric version of "God Save the Queen" on the roof of the palace during a similar concert 10 years ago, for the golden jubilee.

Gary Barlow of the band Take That, who is organizing the concert, acknowledged it would be difficult to create a moment as memorable as May's rooftop solo.

"We need to come up with something newer and better. Maybe we'll fly someone in," Barlow told a news conference in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace Tuesday.

Elton John, who is among the line-up, will face the additional challenge of living up to his tear-jerking rendition of "Candle in the Wind" at the funeral of Princess Diana in 1997 -- one of the defining moments of his long career.

"It's going to be fun," he said in a video to present the concert, shown at the news conference.

Paul McCartney, Tom Jones and Annie Lennox are also among the veteran rock and pop stars who will take to the stage, while English tenor Alfie Boe and Chinese pianist Lang Lang will bring a classical touch.

Bassey, whose career in Britain took off in the 1950s and who later found international fame by singing James Bond film theme songs, will represent the older generation along with Cliff Richard, whose enduring appeal to a fanatical female fan base has kept him on the British A-list for over five decades.   Continued...

<p>Britain's Queen Elizabeth smiles during a visit to Dersingham Infant and Nursery School in Dersingham, eastern England February 6, 2012. Today marks the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's accession to the throne. REUTERS/Arthur Edwards/ Pool</p>