Pink Floyd thank supporters of Ukraine benefit song as it raises £500,000

Pink Floyd have thanked all those who supported their Ukrainian charity single Hey, Hey, Rise Up as they announced it has raised £500,000.

he rock band released the song in April this year to help “alleviate the suffering” of the people in the war-torn country.

It marked the first original music recorded by the group as a collective since 1994’s The Division Bell and features David Gilmour and Nick Mason as well as long-time collaborator and bass player Guy Pratt, with musician Nitin Sawhney on keyboards.

The song also features vocals by Ukrainian singer Andriy Khlyvnyuk, from rock and pop band Boombox, taken from a clip he posted on Instagram where he sings in Kyiv’s Sofiyskaya Square.

The band said in a statement on Friday: “Pink Floyd would like to thank everyone who has supported Hey, Hey, Rise Up.

“The single, recorded on March 30 with Andriy Khlyvnyuk of the Ukrainian band Boombox, has so far raised over £450,000 to help alleviate the suffering of the Ukrainian people.

“David Gilmour and Nick Mason have added £50,000 to make this up to £500,000 which will be distributed to humanitarian charities.”

The charities the money will be donated to are: Hospitallers, a Ukrainian voluntary paramedic organisation; Kharpp, which helps refugees in Ukraine and as they arrive in Poland; Livyj Bereh, which provides supplies and the reconstruction of houses and schools; Kyiv Volunteer, which provides aid and feeds civilians; and Vostok SOS who help victims of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The band also encouraged people to donate to the groups directly, adding: “Season’s Greetings to you all and Slava Ukraini.”

Guitarist and vocalist Gilmour, who has a Ukrainian daughter-in-law and grandchildren, previously said the group had been “feeling the fury and the frustration of this vile act of an independent, peaceful democratic country being invaded and having its people murdered by one of the world’s major powers”.

The musician, 76, explained when the charity song was announced that he had approached Khlyvnyuk after seeing the video he shared to Instagram in which he is heard singing a patriotic Ukrainian protest song, The Red Viburnum In The Meadow, as he thought it was a “powerful moment” which he wanted to put music to.

The title of the Pink Floyd track is taken from the last line of the song.

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The video for the new song has been filmed by director and screenwriter Mat Whitecross and the cover artwork for the single features a painting of a sunflower, the national flower of Ukraine, by Cuban artist Yosan Leon.

The flower is said to be a reference to the woman who confronted Russian soldiers telling them to take seeds from her and to carry them in their pockets so when they died, sunflowers would grow.

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