Katy Perry, Nicole Scherzinger, Idris Elba, will.i.am and David Guetta are among dozens of stars today launching the biggest sing-along in history – and you’re invited to join them.
The celebrities feature in an extraordinary music video singing John Lennon’s classic Imagine.
Taking it in turns to sing lines from the song, they’re joined by Courteney Cox, Rumer Willis, Angelique Kidjo, Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra and model Suki Waterhouse.
Even UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon joins in, accompanied by a choir.
The video spearheads a global campaign by UNICEF to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
UNICEF was given permission by Yoko Ono to launch #IMAGINE, which offers millions of people the chance to record their own versions of the Lennon classic using an iPhone and iPad app – and you even get to place yourself inside the video alongside the A-listers.
Inside the app, they’ll see where around the world other people have recorded their versions of Imagine and will be invited to record their own.
Using voice activation, the app captures you singing and inserts you into the campaign’s launch video alongside John Lennon and the celebrity supporters – it’s like a music video selfie.
Each version shared will form part of a new remix of Imagine by David Guetta, to be released on iTunes on New Year’s Eve 2014.
Even if there are 10 million recordings, the DJ says he’ll include them all in the unique track.
‘I’m really excited to be working with UNICEF on this incredible new project. Our ‘world’ version of Imagine will be like no other – I am proud to be a part of this collaboration,’ said Guetta.
‘We have to get the word out that every voice counts and every child counts too.’
The campaign – believed to be UNICEF’s biggest ever global campaign – launches later today with a live performance of the song at the United Nations General Assembly, by all 250 national, regional, and global UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors, including Hugh Jackman, Yoko Ono, David Guetta and Angelique Kidjo.
Commenting on the campaign, Yoko Ono said: ‘A dream you dream alone may be a dream, but a dream two people dream together is a reality.’
Also among the 56 performers in the campaign video are Craig David, former Voice UK coach Danny O’Donoghue, Sudanese refugee turned supermodel Mari Malek, Australian singer Cody Simpson and actors David Arquette, Eric Christian Olsen, Seth Green, Dianna Agron, and Taye Diggs.
The video was produced by TouchCast, a New York-based video technology used by the BBC, and Emmy award-winning director Michael Jurkovac, who was behind the viral video sensation Yes We Can in support of Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign.
With #IMAGINE, UNICEF hopes to bring awareness to the fact that in many countries, children have to imagine having the basic human rights that allow others of their age to be children.
UNICEF hopes to inspire people to take action to fight for global children’s rights and raise funds via donations and iTunes royalties from the song’s purchase to finance their efforts.
Donations will be used to support UNICEF’s health, education and sanitation projects in 150 countries.
‘The Convention on the Rights of the Child asked us all to imagine a better world for children – and calls on all of us to make that vision a reality,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake.
‘The #IMAGINE project gives people across the globe a chance to join a global movement for children, lending their ideas, their visions and, not least, their voices to advance the rights of every child, everywhere.’
Participants are encouraged to share videos of ‘Imagine’ duets with the hashtags #IMAGINE and #EVERYVOICECOUNTS
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