Simon Cowell charity single released to aid fire victims

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Actress and singer Rita Ora. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Invision/AP)
Actress and singer Rita Ora. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Invision/AP)

London (AP) – A charity music single produced by “American Idol” and “The X Factor” judge Simon Cowell was released last week to help victims of the devastating Grenfell Tower fire in London.

Some 50 artists performed a cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s classic recording of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”  The singers included Rita Ora, Robbie Williams, Liam Payne and Jessie J.

Grime star Stormzy opens the single, rapping: “I don’t know where to begin so I’ll start by saying I refuse to forget you/I refuse to be silenced/I refuse to neglect you/That’s for every last soul up in Grenfell/Even though I’ve never even met you.”

The single’s release marked a week since the blaze, which ripped through the apartment building in the early hours of June 14, when many of the residents were home asleep.  At least 79 people are thought to have perished in the fire.

Ora, the 26-year-old, who is from London and grew up near Grenfell Tower, said she cried while recording her vocals for the song.

“It’s an amazing thing that we’re doing because it’s a very touchy subject for me because that’s my neighborhood … you know, I played in that block and my friends who grew up there, who still lived in that block and we can’t find — it’s a tragedy and it was hard for me to even sing it,” she said.