Emeli Sandé has confirmed that her performance at ITV’s ‘Concert for Ukraine’ last night (March 29) was mimed, due to her losing her voice.
The Scottish singer took to the stage at Resorts World Arena in Birmingham for an uplifting take on her recent single ‘Brighter Days’. However, social media speculation was quickly rife, with many suggesting that her vocals were not live.
In a video posted to Twitter this morning (March 30), an audibly hoarse Sandé addressed the rumours, confirming that she had lost her voice shortly before the concert and been forced to mime over a backing track as a result.
“Hey everybody, I really hope you enjoyed the ‘Concert for Ukraine’,” her message began. “It raised so much money and it was such an important thing for me to be a part of. I really wanted to sing, but I woke up the day of the concert and my voice was like this, which is really annoying because the day before I was singing Mariah [Carey] totally fine.”
“I had to make a very difficult decision,” she went on. “Do I pull out of the concert, which I really didn’t want to do, or do I lip-sync to the track? And I chose to lip-sync. I’ve never done it in my career ever before, and I never ever will do it again. But for me, it was more important that I got to perform the song with the amazing Kingdom Choir, and that the message of the song came through.”
She concluded: “I apologise to everyone who noticed that it was a lip-sync. I promise that it will never happen again, but I hope that the message of the song still came through.” The concert, which also featured performances from Snow Patrol, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Camilla Cabello, Ed Sheeran and Eurovision 2016’s Ukrainian winner, Jamala, smashed its fundraising goal of £3 million, having raised £11.3 million by the end of two-hour telethon.
Away from the music, veteran journalist Sir Trevor McDonald took to the stage to pay tribute to those in his profession who have been reporting on the invasion since it began on February 24. Elsewhere, actors Tamsin Greig and Eddie Marsan emotionally relayed accounts from refugees of their experiences over the past few weeks, over a virtuoso violin performance by Nicola Benedetti.
A young couple from Kyiv who fled the war, Inna Lytovka and her partner, Valentyna, took to the stage as special guests to shine a first-hand light on refugees’ plight. They were among a number of Ukrainians to recently arrive in the UK who were in attendance in Birmingham.